Poverty Relief

4,200 Jewish people in the Lower Mainland live below the poverty line. 630 are children; 3000 are ages 15-64.

Through financial aid, food bank, and similar programs such as Jewish Holiday Assistance, we provide relief to the people in our community who need it most.

a) Financial aid

Approximately 300 individuals (families & individuals) receive financial aid. After initial intake and financial assessment, people who qualify are matched with the Case Manager who can refer them to the various programs and provide other services.

Financial aid services may include:

  • Food vouchers
  • Housing related expenses (i.e. rent, damage deposit, hydro bill)
  • Expenses related to medical condition
  • Emergency related expense

For more information about Financial aid, please contact:

Tanja Demajo
Family & Adult Resources Director
604-637-3316
tdemajo@jfsa.ca

 

b) Jewish Food Bank

The Jewish Food Bank is held every two weeks at the Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture, 6184 Ash Street, from 10am – 11am on alternate Thursday mornings. We serve approximately 300 people.

Unlike general food banks, the JFSA does not have a “walk in” model. Clients must be assessed and placed on the food bank by a JFSA case manager or counsellor.

While we are not a kosher food bank, the Jewish Food Bank does not offer any meats, poultry or their by-products kosher or not — or anything marine that does not have fins or scales, or their by-products. In addition, for those clients who do keep kosher, we ensure that kosher items are available to them. We try as best we can to accommodate other dietary needs of our clients such as low-sodium items, gluten free items and the like.

The majority of supplies are bought, and we rely heavily on donations in kind for non-basic goods such as: prunes, honey, and healthy lunch-box items for children. Donations of food and toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toilet paper and diapers are greatly appreciated and needed.

The Jewish Food Bank is co-funded by Jewish Women’s International-BC, JFSA and many generous donors from the community.

For more information about the Jewish Food Bank, please contact:

Marnie Greenwald
Food Bank Coordinator & Community Development
604-558-5705
mgreenwald@jfsa.ca

 

c) The Food Cupboard

The Food cupboard with non-perishable items is available at the JFSA office five days a week. People who are hungry and homeless can walk-in and receive a bag of urgent food supply.

 

d) Jewish Holiday Assistance

Access to holiday services and food can be overwhelming for clients on low income. Holiday assistance is provided to support them in carrying on Jewish tradition.

Rosh Hashana
With the community support, we assist clients with High Holiday tickets to a number of synagogues.

Chanukah
The Hanukkah Helpers Program was created as a chesed project for JFSA, where families in the community could help to support other families in need during Hanukkah. Each donor family is matched with an anonymous recipient family – with only minimal information about the ages of their children- and their task is to shop for their assigned family.

Passover

  • Food vouchers
  • Fresh produce and canned food from the Jewish Food Bank including special Passover items
  • Passover hampers
  • Tickets for individuals and families who wish to participate in community Seders held throughout our community, and for those who are elderly or disabled, transportation to these meaningful events