High Holy Days food drive will help Tucsonans in need

The Tucson Jewish community will hold its annual Project Isaiah food drive benefiting the Community Food Bank from Aug. 24-Sept.20.

The project, timed to coincide with the High Holy Days, is named for the Prophet Isaiah. When asked why we fast on Yom Kippur, he responded, “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?” (Isaiah 58:6).

In Pima County, more than 15 percent of the population faces food insecurity, according to the food bank.

The Jewish Community Relations Council, part of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s community engagement department, coordinates Project Isaiah. Bagged donations may be dropped off at local synagogues and Jewish agencies. Most needed items include peanut butter, cereal and granola bars, canned tomato products, canned meats and vegetables, canned soups, canned fruit, rice and pasta, and beans.

In Israel, people make similar efforts to help those in need around the High Holy Days, says Amir Eden, director of the Weintraub Israel Center and JCRC advocate.

“Food drives strengthen communities. Community members work together for a common cause, get acquainted and become friends.

“It is our duty to help those in need. As parents, we want to instill in our children the importance of kindness and empathy. Children learn from what we do and not from what we say. This food drive, as many other community service projects we will lead throughout the year, is another opportunity to help our fellow men and women and at the same time encourage our children to better this world. Children who volunteer with their parents are more likely to become adults who volunteer. The magic of volunteering is that one comes to give, however, he or she ends up getting so much more,” says Eden.

Monetary donations by credit card or check payable to the JCRC may be mailed to Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Attn: Amir Eden, 3718 E. River Rd.,Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85718. With each donation of $1, the food bank can distribute food for more than four meals.

To schedule a volunteer date at the Community Food Bank for your organization, call 882-3292, email volunteer@communityfoodbank.org or fill out an application at www.communityfoodbank.org. Friends and families are welcome.

For more information, contact Eden at 647-8449 or aeden@jfsa.org.