Sunday, October 29, 2017, will be remembered as the day Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward stood up and fought against hunger in Broward County. The last quarter of 2017 has been a busy one for Goodman JFS. Hurricane Irma devastated our area, increasing the need for food and water among the most vulnerable in our community. Three days after Irma, Goodman JFS opened the doors of The Cupboard, their kosher food pantry, just in time to assist hurricane victims in Broward County, as well as in Puerto Rico, devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Goodman JFS hosted their inaugural Feed the Need Brunch on Sunday, October 29, benefiting The Cupboard and raised more than $80,000. Nearly 250 community members came together in the fight against hunger and made an incredible impact. There are approximately 2,500 families who suffer from food insecurity in our community. Due to rising home, medical and energy costs, thousands of families in our own backyard are struggling to put food on the table.
The launch of The Cupboard was two years in the making after Goodman JFS came to the realization that hunger is a problem in Broward County, especially within the Jewish community. South Florida philanthropists Stephen and Michele Jackman have been working with Goodman JFS for a number of years, but spearheading the creation of The Cupboard became their personal mission. Mr. Jackman, an alumnus of the University of Miami, has done philanthropic work since he was 25 years old, and he feels good about giving back.
The Cupboard is unique from other local food pantries because it is kosher, and it operates more like a market. Clients are allowed to “shop” and choose the food they want rather than receive a random bag. Clients call to schedule an appointment, which ensures their privacy and, upon arrival, they are greeted by a volunteer shopper who helps them maneuver through The Cupboard. My South Florida Today was pleased to see not only canned goods, packaged food and bottles of water, but also fresh produce such as potatoes, apples and, best of all, fresh frozen chicken, which is a rare find at a food pantry.
The Cupboard can help those individuals who can not leave their home. If someone is unable to come do their own shopping, The Cupboard will have one of their volunteer drivers deliver food right to their doorstep. This is a great convenience for older adults who are not able to leave their homes or are without transportation.
Goodman JFS has been serving Broward County since 1962. Within the last decade, they have truly established themselves as a pillar of the community, touching the lives of more than 25,000 individuals each year. If you would like to become a volunteer or make a donation, please visit www.jfsbroward.org .