JFS Sees Need for Assistance More Than Double During the Crisis

Posted on April 15, 2020

In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of healing the world, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background. That’s why as a go-to provider for essential and emergency services in our region, JFS services are needed even more during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As more businesses began to shutter their doors or reduce hours of operation, more individuals and families were bringing home less income. Therefore, many of them sought out JFS for food and other programs and our agency is here to help,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Chief Executive Officer. “Knowing the severity of the crisis, JFS adapted its process in order to continue to provide critical support to community members while adhering to the limitations of social distancing,” she added.

Since COVID-19 came to the forefront in mid-March, JFS Food Pantry requests experienced a 50% increase in the first two weeks of the shelter at home order. The agency anticipates this to increase to Superstorm Sandy like levels of 100 families per week. With non-perishable food donations from businesses, other agencies and individuals, JFS is able to provide hearty foods to ensure no one goes hungry. For those looking to donate, JFS has drop-off locations at Ventnor City Hall, Linwood City Hall and the Pleasantville Police Department in addition to the JFS Margate Office.

The Food Pantry offers distribution weekdays from 10am – 2pm. Food Pantry recipients need ID and to complete a brief intake process. To limit interaction, food is distributed from the side entrance on Marshall Avenue.

In addition to our Food Pantry, JFS has seen requests for Kosher Meals on Wheels increase by nearly 35% and the Shop at Home program grew by more than 200%. With many neighbors, especially older adults without transportation or concerned about their vulnerability of being in public, these programs are essential to ensure they remain safe and well-cared for in their home environment. JFS was founded on the grounds of caring for the elderly and especially now, the need is at the forefront with so many sheltering in place.

Current Village by the Shore member services include transportation to doctor’s appointments and delivery of Kosher Meals on Wheels and groceries. For members needing assistance or for more information on the Village program, please call 609-822-1109.

In addition to the above, JFS continues to work daily with its consumers in homeless, supportive housing, counseling and more. While our work appears differently, the need and our support is still a top priority. For the most up-to-date information, donation locations and services available, follow JFS on social media @JFSAtlantic or visit jfsatlantic.org.