By Michelle Cohen
The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley will partner with Jewish Family Service for a fourth year on Super Sunday to debut a new program for the Valley: a kosher food delivery service based on Meals on Wheels.
“It’s a really nice partnership between Federation and JFS, and our mitzvah projects tend to focus on our older adults,” said Carol Wilson, JFS older adult coordinator. Past projects have included a meet-and-greet at Country Meadows, a mezuzah decorating and hanging ceremony at Cedar Brook and a baking project at Atria using a recipe from a resident’s aunt.
As for this year’s project, “When I meet with my clients, there are several themes that come up over and over again,” Wilson said. “Their ability to get to the market, bring the food home, put it away, prepare it, cook it, clean it up – it’s quite daunting, and so a lot of our clients struggle with eating nutritious food that tastes delicious.”
A kosher delivery program used to exist in the Lehigh Valley coinciding with Beth Tikvah thanks to the availability of a commercial kosher kitchen, but once the program ended, the space has been left unfilled, until now, when many community agencies will cooperate to make the first delivery special.
Children from PJ Library will bake and package cookies and decorate a note for the recipient of the meal, which will include several courses. Children at the Jewish Day School will prepare the soup course, and two local synagogues, Congregation Sons of Israel and Congregation Brith Sholom, will prepare two other courses. Because preparing the entire meal in one day would be daunting for volunteers, these groups will make their food ahead of time and deliver it to Federation in preparation of the big day. On Super Sunday, Federation volunteers will prepare the main course, pack the meals and deliver them to clients.
In terms of the food, Wilson hopes for hearty dishes that can be frozen. “If the food is frozen, they can stash it in the freezer and use it next week, next month, or they can defrost it and have it as soon as they want it,” she said. The meals will be low-salt and low-fat, and are designed to be “basic, healthy, nutritious, delicious food.”
“It will mean so much to them,” Carol added, “and not only will the delivery of nutritious, healthy food be so important to them, but the social component of the visit that comes with the delivery will be equally as important and appreciated.”
Super Sunday will take place on Jan. 28, 2018. To learn more and sign up to volunteer, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/supersunday.