Isaiah Project Update

For over 9 years the Isaiah Project has been an active program at TBS – delivering food and groceries every month to both the Jewish Family Service Pantry (JFS) and the Hamden Food Bank (HFB). The project was initiated in response to the recognition that a growing number of singles, children, families and seniors in our area face hunger on a regular basis.

For those of you who do not know how the project works, let us explain:

Under the guidance of Ruth Kleinfeld, chair, TBS ‘shoppers’ assigned to either JFS or HFB are given $250-$300 and a list of requested food and grocery items each month.   When the shopping is complete, the items are delivered to the food banks – often over 100 lbs. of food per delivery!

The most recent data from Feeding America shows that in 2016, 11.6% of the total Connecticut population was living with ‘food insecurity’ and, of that percentage, 15.6% were children. ‘Food insecurity’ is defined as struggling with hunger daily. The 2019 report on Child Food Insecurity by Feeding America states that struggling with food insecurity puts children at a greater risk for stunted development, anemia and asthma, oral health problems and hospitalization.

Food Stamps – the Federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) has been one of the most effective tools to help people with a low income and who often do not have the money to buy adequate food for themselves and their families. Providing a basic supplement averaging $130 per person per month in Connecticut has been a lifeline to those suffering from chronic hunger.   However, the current administration is proposing increased restrictions on the already low asset amounts participants can hold and the new rules would sharply cut benefits for families. What will happen if these new restrictions are enacted? More people will experience chronic hunger and will have to turn to charitable food banks for assistance.

The Isaiah Project’s monthly deliveries to the Jewish Family Service Pantry and the Hamden Food Bank become even more critical. We ask that your generosity continues and you consider donating to the Isaiah Fund when making contributions ‘in honor of’ or ‘in thanks to.’ All donations are used exclusively to buy necessities for those who need it most. Also please continue to bring your non-perishables to the synagogue and deposit them in the designated bins.

Thank you for your ongoing support over the past 9 years.

Isaiah Project Committee