New York City (May 5, 2020) – Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union (“OU”), praised the State of Maryland today after state officials announced plans to fund a free kosher lunch program available to all children, under the age of 18, in Montgomery County. The program will begin in early-to-mid May.
With 30 million people in the U.S. now unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has become a growing concern in many communities nationwide. In response, Teach Coalition has been aggressively advocating nationwide for kosher meal options. The organization worked with several partners in launching the Maryland program. These partners included Yad Yehuda, a volunteer organization that serves as the Jewish community’s financial safety net, Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore, and numerous local schools and kosher establishments.
“In this crisis, I have been struck by how many community members in need refrain from seeking assistance for fear of taking it away from someone who needs it more,” said Nechamia Mond, Yad Yehuda’s executive director. “That makes this program – which offers free kosher food for all children regardless of income level – so very needed at this time.”
Yad Yehuda will begin distributing meals with a central pickup site in Kemp Mill and make further site determinations as the two-month program continues.
“Pandemics and the resulting financial distress don’t discriminate,” said Dan Mitzner, Teach Coalition’s director of state political affairs. “The kosher lunch program is an example of multiple local Jewish organizations coming together and deciding that they will not let Jewish children go hungry because of lack of kosher food.
“It was the organized community support that enabled us to engage state officials who understood the need for this service and made it happen.”
About Teach Coalition
Teach Coalition is at the forefront of the grassroots fight to secure government support for nonpublic schools in North America. This includes increased funding, through grants and allocations, for security enhancements and personnel, STEM education, health and nutrition, and transportation services as well as higher limits on available tax credit scholarships. Teach Coalition currently serves a membership roster of hundreds of schools in six states.