Initiative provides Montgomery County seniors with free Shabbat meals 

Calli Levin
BCGW volunteer Calli Levin delivers food. (Courtesy of Audrey Siegel)

A new initiative to provide Montgomery County seniors with free Shabbat meals created a waiting list due to demand. In June, the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington partnered with Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington to deliver two kosher meals to the homes of county residents over the age of 60. 

Dana Hirsch is the program manager of JCA’s Senior Helpline and Escorted Transportation Program. She said by the end of the 10-week program this month a total of 550 meals would have been served to 250 different people. The number of participants was capped due to available resources and a waiting list was created. There is no financial eligibility requirement for the program, which Hirsch said is intended to ensure there is no stigma in participating.  

“During this pandemic time, there are so many different needs in the community, whether it’s financial, emotional, medical,” Hirsch said. “We didn’t want to say one particular need was going to be served over another. So if someone has a need, we’re not questioning what that need is. We want to provide them with the meals just to make some part of their week a little bit easier.” 

The initiative is funded through a grant from the Montgomery County Food Council. Food is purchased from Shalom’s Kosher in Silver Spring or Moti’s Market in Rockville. Each meal consists of one chicken or beef meal along with sides, soup and a dessert.

Those interested in learning more about the initiative can contact Hirsch at [email protected].

[email protected]

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