Matza & More to serve 200+ families in need

Nancy Lefkowitz

Matza & More, a project of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, will again serve more than 200 families in need. On March 31, volunteers will pack Passover bags for Tucson-area families who otherwise could not afford food and other items for a seder. The bags will be filled with fresh vegetables, gefilte fish, horseradish, walnuts, grape juice, matzah ball soup mix, food gift cards, holiday candles and matzah. Another group of volunteers will deliver the bags to families on April 2.

Matza & More has helped families alleviate hunger and celebrate Passover for more than 40 years. Donations from synagogues and individuals make the project possible. Other contributors include the Tucson Hebrew Academy, Shamrock Foods and author Robert Kopman whose “30-Minute Seder” Haggadah is distributed with the food. Nancy Lefkowitz, who will serve as volunteer chairperson for the program for the sixth year, was named JFCS volunteer of the year last year.

“The Haggadah says, ‘All who are hungry come and eat, all who are needy come and participate in Passover.’ Matza & More volunteers and donors make that possible for people who are struggling in some way,” says Rabbi Helen Cohn of Congregation M’kor Hayim. “Imagine the feeling when someone opens the door for a volunteer bringing a seder to them. It’s like opening the door for Elijah!”

Matza & More is part of the Jewish Emergency Financial Assistance program at JFCS of Southern Arizona.

“There is great need,” says Debbie Crowder, JEFA manager at JFCS. “People sometimes have to choose between buying medications, paying another bill or buying food. They struggle all year and Matza & More allows them to enjoy the holiday with traditional kosher foods.”

Throughout the year, JEFA offers help with utility payments, work-related transportation, funeral costs, and housing costs, including deposits, rent, safety-related repairs and moving. JEFA also administers the Mitzvah Magic program for recipients each year. JEFA is funded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and individual donors. To make a donation, go to jfcstucson.org.