We started the organization when we became aware of 5 families who were in desperate need. Helping them became our main focus. Within days, we heard of another family so we added them onto our list as well. By the time Passover arrived, we had 65 families receiving food packages. As of today, we serve the needs of close to 250 families, which means that every week close to 1500 men, women, and children are enjoying quality, nutritious foods for Shabbat.
Every day we receive phone calls from families in need who are not making ends meet either due to the poor economy, unemployment or underemployment, illness, or handicaps which prevent them from supporting themselves and their families. Some family’s circumstances are the result of divorce, and sadly, even domestic violence has touched our community.
Every Wednesday night, Aishel Shabbat volunteers package the boxes that contain approximately $100 worth of food. Each family receives chicken, challot, grape juice, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and cake. We buy everything wholesale, our actual cost is approximately $25 per family per week. We are very fortunate to receive excellent donations of foods, grocery items, and canned goods from several generous suppliers and other organizations.
Our yearly budget would have been over $2,000,000, but since we purchase everything wholesale, and there are no salaries paid, our current yearly budget is only $350,000. Of course, to our special families the value is priceless.
All of our packaging is done at our warehouse located a 1235 38th Street, Brooklyn, New York. The use of this warehouse has been 100% donated to us.
Everyone at Aishel Shabbat is a 100% volunteer.
This includes the packers, the delivery people, the founders, and board members. This enables us to use100% of all the donations we receive to purchase food for families in need. Thursday evenings our amazing volunteer drivers deliver these heavy and overflowing packages to their eagerly awaiting recipients. We have never missed a delivery regardless of the weather – snow, sleet or rain. That is dedication.