The United Synagogue is launching a hunger campaign to support members who have fallen into food poverty as the cost-of-living crisis deepens around the country.
In response to concerns across the community that demand for help is soaring, the US is launching a food collection campaign this week which will also coincide with World Hunger Day on 28 May.
Each United Synagogue shul will be asked to collect specific items such as tinned goods, store cupboard essentials and toiletries for families struggling to meet the cost of living.
It comes as Jewish charities have warned the cost-of-living crisis is expected to get worse with demand for help doubling across some services.
The United Synagogue already supports 150 families and individuals with weekly food parcels. Many of these people lost some or all of their income during the pandemic and could no longer make ends meet.
The charity expects this number to rise given the rising cost of food and energy bills.
Michelle Minsky, head of the United Synagogue’s Chesed department, said: “Hunger is now a reality for many. First the pandemic and now an unprecedented cost of living crisis means that more people than ever before are going hungry.
“Families in our own communities now face both food and fuel poverty – many for the first time ever.”
The US is calling on those who can to “help by providing desperately needed extra food items.”
Mrs Minsky added: “If you’re reading this and think that you or your family could benefit from our support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your shul’s care co-ordinator, or your shul office, or call us directly on 020 8343 5696. All calls are treated confidentially.”
The United Synagogue will arrange for donation boxes to be available at shuls and in local areas until June 28.
One beneficiary of the US’s weekly food parcel told the JC: “Our family has been fortunate enough to benefit from receiving the United Synagogue food parcels and meals delivery scheme.
“We are a large family and the regular deliveries relieve significant stress, worry and financial burden.
“I am unable to articulate the delight on my children’s faces and the relief on mine whilst unpacking the deliveries.
“We are indebted and beyond grateful to all the generous donors. If you are able to support the scheme so other families can benefit, please do so. They keep our family going.”