As NY continues to be one of the heaviest hit areas of the world by the coronavirus outbreak, the Kosher Response project, which stepped up to provide healthcare workers, police and other "front line heroes" with kosher food packages as they fight the COVID-19 outbreak, has expanded its mission to include families in need.
The project was started by Gabriel Boxer, popularly known as the "Kosher Guru" on social media among kosher foodies. Kosher Response began with the aim to "show gratitude and perform random acts of kindness by delivering food packages to our heroes on the front lines."
Boxer explained to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that a lot of people from throughout the tri-state area have reached out to the project asking for help. "With the many, many requests I've been getting to help families in need, we decided to take Kosher Response to a Phase 2."
"We want to help families in need, but we want to do it in a different and innovative way. We're not here to be like and copy other organizations. We'd rather let them do what they do."
One thing that makes Kosher Response's approach different is the "Feed a Family, Fuel a Restaurant" program, which aims to help small businesses while also helping families in need. As part of the program, the project is asking for help to purchase gift cards from local, tri-state area kosher restaurants to provide to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.
"What we want to try and do is bring some normalcy back to families and to help the families regain that shalom bayit (domestic harmony), regain that family unit," explained Boxer to the Post. The program helps local businesses, while also allowing families in need to go and order whatever food they want.
The project's mission provides support to the tri-state area Jewish community in two ways, by providing support to healthcare workers and families in need, while also supporting small, local businesses.
Kosher Response has also been working to expand their "Shabbos in a Box" program, which provides a box of prepared food including a number of dishes, challah bread and grape juice to families in need and healthcare workers. Anyone can order a "Shabbos in a Box" and Kosher Response will provide a second "Shabbos in a Box" to a local family in need or healthcare worker. The boxes contain enough prepared food for 2-3 people for Friday dinner and Shabbat lunch and cost $200.
The "Shabbos in a Box" was originally for healthcare workers was expanded to help families in need in Phase 2 of the project. Kosher Response is working with other organizations, rabbis and layleaders to find families in need to help.
The "Shabbos in a Box" program costs the organization a large amount of money, but Boxer has been working hard to fundraise to keep the project going and has been successful in raising the needed funds.
Those interested in helping out can donate directly to the project or purchase a "Shabbos in a Box" on the Kosher Response website. The project is also looking for volunteers to help deliver food and businesses looking to help out. Healthcare workers on call and families in need can contact the project through their website as well in order to ask for help.