Over the summer we learned about some great work being done by Temple Sholom of Aberdeen (NJ) led by its inspiring social action committee. Two specific projects address just how one congregation can impact hunger in the local community.
In addition to their award-winning community garden which is run in partnership with a local church and provides nutritious fresh fruits and veggies to the local food pantry, Temple Sholom members have just instituted a Back Pack Buddy Program to begin in a few weeks. When the group learned that there were families in a nearby elementary school that had difficulty providing their children with sufficient healthy meals, they decided to begin the back pack program to help meet this need. When the program begins, ten children will be selected by the school staff to receive a pack each Friday filled with healthy snacks and easy meals to supplement their weekend nutrition. With Lou, Lenore and Helene at the helm and various segments of the congregation taking responsibility for aspects of the effort, what could be a time-consuming project seems to be working beautifully.
When we met with Lou and Helene the Good People Fund offered a matching grant to get the program jump-started and we were thrilled with how our seed money propelled the effort. We just learned that all funds have been raised and, if all goes smoothly, the group will re-evaluate their efforts mid-year and possibly add even more kids to the list.
Simple. One small community making a difference. How many more could do the same?