IN THE NEW! JFCS Beneficiary of United Way and NRG Energy Thanksgiving Food Giveaway

November 12, 2021

The Trentonian covered the three-day partner event between United Way of Greater Mercer County and NRG Energy where more than 1,000 Thanksgiving meals were packaged up for local food pantries, including JFCS. Our agency received 250 bags to distribute through our mobile and on-site food pantries.

See the full story.

IN THE NEWS! JFCS One of Four Organizations to benefit from Diversified Rack & Shelving

Diversified Rack & Shelving partnered with East Windsor Township Mayor Janice S. Mironov, to present $10,000 in donations to four community organizations: $2,500 to RISE Community Service Partnership to support their food distribution program, $2,500 to Mercer County Meals on Wheels, $2,500 to Jewish Family & Children’s Service for their mobile food truck, and $2,500 to the East Windsor Senior Trust Fund for senior programming.

Read more on MidJersey.News or CentralJersey.com.

IN THE NEWS! Mercer tote bag giveaway aims to end plastic

June 4, 2021

In the most recent Mercer County Sustainability Newsletter, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes’ Planning Department, with support from the Office of Economic Development, provided several food pantries in the County with reusable shopping bags and education on New Jersey’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, including the JFCS pantries.

Read more here.

Spotlight on Volunteers: Making Connections in a Distanced World

Our new monthly feature – Volunteer Spotlight – will share testimonials direct from our incredible volunteers. JFCS Volunteers are critical to our delivery of core programs and services, providing everything from delivery of Kosher Meals on Wheels, to helping at Mobile Food Pantry distributions, and making friendly calls to isolated seniors.

Matt Erman 

I first reached out to JFCS to volunteer in October. After seeing how people throughout our community have been stepping up and helping each other through this trying time, I wanted to try to do my part in whichever way possible. 

Since starting to volunteer with JFCS, the greatest part has been the people I interact with through the Kosher Meals on Wheels and Senior Shopper programs. When you get to see the same people each and every week, you get to really know them, and a simple food drop off can often turn into a fifteen minute conversation.

I had been volunteering in the Mercer County area since middle school, but since coming back from college in March 2020, JFCS has been the only organization I have worked with.

I will be going to law school at the end of August, but until then I plan on working with JFCS and to continue delivering meals and groceries!

Each week, I deliver groceries to a senior in East Windsor. Whenever I talk to her, be it on the phone when she is giving me her list, or when I drop off the groceries at her house, our conversations are never short. Over the past months, we have become a fixture in each other’s lives – she asks about my sister or how my law school search has been going, and I ask about her grandkids and her friends. The people have been my favorite part of working with JFCS, and interacting with Iris is definitely something I look forward to each week. 

Spotlight on Volunteers: From Youth Programming to Volunteering

Our new monthly feature – Volunteer Spotlight – will share testimonials direct from our incredible volunteers. JFCS Volunteers are critical to our delivery of core programs and services, providing everything from delivery of Kosher Meals on Wheels, to helping at Mobile Food Pantry distributions, and making friendly calls to isolated seniors.

Lucian Chown – An Interview with our February Volunteer Spotlight…

What made you reach out to JFCS to volunteer?

I’ve always been inspired by the great local work of JFCS. When I came back to New Jersey to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to give back to the community in a time of need. I loved being a part of the Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) as a teenager where Celeste Albert introduced my class to many non-profits whose missions were enhanced by our getting to know their organization and making a contribution to sustain them. Delivering for Kosher Meals on Wheels is a great way to get out of the house during a time when we’re all stuck inside, and it makes me happy to help those individuals who aren’t able to leave home.

What do you enjoy about being on our volunteer team?  

Each week, I feel such eager anticipation as I prepare to deliver meals to those on my route in East Windsor and Twin Rivers. Eden Aaronson is a joy and she makes it easy for volunteers like me to pack my car with meals and get back in time for my afternoon work meetings. Sometimes, recipients are waiting by their door for their delivery, other times they wave and smile from their window. I’m glad my actions make a difference; I only wish I had the opportunity to meet and get to know those on my route – perhaps post-pandemic.

How long have you been volunteering in the Princeton area?

I’ve been volunteering since I was ten years old. As a family, we raised and trained puppies for The Seeing Eye of New Jersey, a true family affair. 

Are you a volunteer at other agencies?

Yes! I volunteer with the Greater Trenton Jewish Cemetery Project, a local animal shelter, my university’s alumni ambassador program, and will be part of the Nexus leadership program for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (DC) .

Do you plan to continue volunteering with JFCS into the future?

Of course! I love the work that JFCS does for the Jewish community and the community at-large.

Have you had any impressionable moments with clients while you were working for JFCS that you’d like to share?

Because of COVID-19, I don’t get to interact with clients, though one man shouts his thanks through the door each week. That always makes me smile! 

Spotlight on Volunteers: Father-Son Dynamic Duo Delivers During Pandemic

Our new monthly feature – Volunteer Spotlight – will share testimonials direct from our incredible volunteers. JFCS Volunteers are critical to our delivery of core programs and services, providing everything from delivery of Kosher Meals on Wheels, to helping at Mobile Food Pantry distributions, and making friendly calls to isolated seniors.

Les & Ben Seifer

My son, Ben, and I form the perfect “dynamic duo” as we travel about Mercer County delivering meals to a wide assortment of JFCS clients. He drives and I navigate (with help from Waze). We have both been blessed in many ways and are happy to do our little bit to help the elderly and others who, even without a pandemic, find it hard to get out and about. We truly believe that though we cannot save the world, we can help save a little piece of it here in New Jersey. Plus, everyone at JFCS is extraordinarily cheerful and dedicated which makes the volunteer experience something we look forward to each week.

Ben, who also volunteers at the Plainsboro Public Library, learned about JFCS from me. I learned about the agency while volunteering at Cornerstone Community Kitchen at the United Methodist Church in Princeton. Every Wednesday at that church (pre-pandemic), a hot meal is served to about one hundred people. There is also a food pantry where attendees can “shop” for various donated foods. One Wednesday, JFCS came by and contributed a huge amount of groceries and that’s where I learned about their services. During the pandemic we have limited ourselves to just handing out hot meals and bags of groceries and produce, and JFCS has been there every week without fail with first-rate fruits and other healthy items.

The clients we support always greet us cheerfully when we make our deliveries.  On a recent miserable cold rainy day, I handed an elderly woman her meals and she said, “Wait… I have a little something for you.” Thinking she was going to try and give me a tip, or perhaps some cookies, I told her it was not at all necessary. She then handed me a plastic bag of garbage and asked me if I could drop it in the dumpster since she was unable to get out. Did I take it? Of course! We are making a difference each day, and providing that vitual social interaction and simply “check-in” on seniors who are feeling exceptionally isolated.

In a time when it can feel many people act only in service of themselves, it is rewarding to both Ben and I to see such generosity and compassion. We look forward to continuing to play a part.