Jerusalem’s Pantry Packers brings volunteering to the US
Following its success in Jerusalem at fusing charity with a fun experience for both locals and tourists, Pantry Packers has recently launched a pilot program in the United States.
The food distribution arm of Colel Chabad, Pantry Packers provides a platform for thousands of volunteers to prepare food staples and packages that are distributed to needy families around Israel.
Through a highly professional and organized approach in a state-of-the-art packing warehouse in Jerusalem dedicated by the Luxenberg and Zuckerman families of Great Neck, the program has become a sought-after stop for many families and groups looking for a meaningful addition to trips to Israel.
As the past two years of pandemic have severely limited travel abroad, the decision was made to bring the Pantry Packers experience to the US.
New York’s North Shore Hebrew Academy (NSHA) was the first to take part in the new program, where over the course of a recent school day students packed over one ton of rice which was then distributed to needy families in the New York area.
Rabbi Menachem Traxler, who founded and continues to run Pantry Packers in Jerusalem, was on hand for the pilot event.
“The continuing pandemic has been extremely trying for our efforts because the needs have only expanded while our core of volunteers from the Diaspora Jewish community has almost dried up. But as this crisis continued, we began hearing from friends and contacts in America who missed the volunteering opportunity that allows children to feel a real sense of fulfillment and know that their hard work is immediately helping others,” he explained.
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