We were contacted by Rachel a month or so ago regarding her interest in having the Food Bank benefit from her upcoming bat mitzvah celebration. Rachel is another great example of young Delawareans who are really working to make a difference! Rachel was nice enough to share her special day with our blog readers! A portion of this entry was taken directly from a speech she read to her guests.
“Today we read the second of four Parshiot about Joseph… An interesting idea I found in this Torah portion was that when Joseph is put in charge of rationing out food, he is actually put in charge of the world’s first food bank. How cool is that? It got me thinking about how Joseph’s food bank, and food banks all around the world today are not so different after all. For example, for both food banks, it was and is a place for poor people without food to come and get food. And for both food banks, both Biblical and modern, food was and is rationed out by someone to give to the people who need it most. But, the main difference is that back then there was a worldwide famine and the only place that there was food was Egypt.
Today, the problem with global hunger is that there is plenty of food, but it is not evenly distributed. So, nowadays there are people in the world who are very hungry and have barely any food to eat and, unfortunately, at the same time, there are also people who are throwing food away… ”
Inspired by the passage, Rachel was compelled to take action to alleviate hunger. She continues…
“I, too, have chosen not to just look towards others to address the problems faced by my own community and other communities around the world. I was inspired to become involved in the efforts to create communities free from hunger. I have done this in several ways. As you might know (as I mentioned in my bat mitzvah invitation), I am working with Heifer International. I am trying to raise enough money to buy seven cows, one each for seven families, inspired in part by the seven cows in Pharaoh’s dream.
But, the cows are so far away from the United States. I also wanted to help hungry people closer to home. So, in addition to Heifer International, I also decided to help the Food Bank of Delaware. Did you know that one in four Delawareans are fed by our Food Bank annually? It is estimated that our state’s Food Bank feeds 17,500 of our neighbors in any given week! The need is great, especially in today’s awful economy. In fact, 17.3% of the citizens living in our state said that there had been times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy the food that they needed! I wanted to help change that by volunteering. At the Food Bank of Delaware I made sandwiches for kids who get all or most of their food in school or in after-school programs. In one morning alone, my mom and I helped to make 1200 sandwiches!
After learning more about the programs at the food bank I decided to run a food drive at my school. With the help of the principal, we arranged for the different classrooms to compete to see who could bring in the most food items. As an incentive for participating in the food drive, the winning class got to have two dress down day bands each.
Finally, I also have chosen to contribute small portioned frozen meals to the mitzvah pantry run by Jewish Family Services. That way, families who cannot supply food for themselves can come to the Mitzvah Pantry of JFS and have a nice meal.”
Thank you Rachel for sharing your story! In total she collected more than 700 pounds of food and a bunch of backpacks for our Backpack Program! Check out some more pictures from her special event!