March 23, 2010, New York City –City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Karen Koslowitz, and the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company made an emergency donation of one thousand pounds of Kosher for Passover food to the Queens Jewish Community Council Kosher Food Pantry as supplies needed to provide Kosher for Passover food to families in need was nearly depleted.

“I want to commend Stop and Shop for making such a generous donation to Jewish New Yorkers in need so that they can celebrate the Passover holiday,” said Speaker Quinn. “So many New Yorkers are struggling during this difficult time, finding it hard to even put food on the table for their families. It is especially difficult for a family if they are unable to celebrate a religious holiday because they can’t afford to buy the appropriate food. This donation – which will help to feel so many hungry children – defines the spirit of Passover, a holiday that is about family, community and miracles.”

“Stop& Shop is pleased that we are able to be of assistance to Queens Jewish Community Council Kosher Food Pantry,” said Carletta Cantres, store Manager of the Forest Hills Stop & Shop. “We would like to thank Speaker Quinn and the Council for helping get the word out that many residents of Forest Hills and the larger Queens community are in need of assistance.”

“Stop and Shop is a model business and I applaud their generosity,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “Too many people in this City live in poverty and experience hunger, especially during today’s harsh economic reality. Not only does Stop and Shop deliver for families in need, they recognize religious beliefs of the diverse communities of this great City. Stop and Shop’s donation captures the spirit of Passover which is about family, community and helping those in need.”‪‪

“I am very thankful for the donation of Passover food from Stop and Shop and for the great work that the QJCC and Met Council do everyday, said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “The need grows more and more during these tough economic times and we all have a responsibility to help.”

An estimated 300,000 Jewish households, 20 percent of the city’s Jewish families live in impoverished conditions. The number of Jewish Poor in New York City has soared by 30% since last Passover. According to the Queens Jewish Community Council in January of 2009 its food pantry served 689 people in need. In February of 2009 they served 930 in need. The number soared to 1,121 in January of 2010 and 1,818.In February of 2010.

“The realities of this economy have had a devastating impact upon many New Yorkers who suddenly find themselves unable to provide basic necessities for their families, said Warren Hecht, President of the Queens Jewish Community Council. “The requests for assistance from members of the Jewish community as Passover approaches has been overwhelming”

“Even before this economic crisis pushed more families and individuals into poverty or near-poverty there was an incredible need in the Jewish community, said William Rapfogel, CEO and Executive Director of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. “The number of Jewish children impacted by poverty is staggering; a recent UJA Met Council report found that 52,000 Jewish children, 23% of the Jewish children who reside in New York City live at or under the poverty level.”