Community comes together to prepare Thanksgiving meals for the needy in Northeast Philadelphia

- Crowded assembly line chains stacked with busy hands and big hearts, packing 48 thousand pounds of food for a few thousand needy families in Philadelphia.

“We’re blessed today to have over 39 different groups here helping. Churches, schools, corporations,” said Peter Rabinowitz, the Jewish Relief Agency CEO.

Nearly every square foot of the Jewish relief agency’s food distribution center in Northeast Philadelphia was covered with people of all different backgrounds, working together to make a difference. The spirit of giving in full effect, less than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

“We have cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes to help folks enjoy Thanksgiving meals,” said Rabinowitz.

A Drexel University student, Dhillon Walsh, said, “They come down this assembly line right here, they hand off to us, we close lids, friend takes them away on the cart.”

“Why here today? We wanna help the people who cannot afford food,” said Reese Lipowitz.

This isn’t a holiday specific food drive. The Jewish Relief Agency feeds six thousand people in the Philadelphia area every single month.

Rabinowitz explained, “We’re now in our 206th straight month of distribution. Been doing this for seventeen years.”

Parent Michelle Terry says she’s here with her son and other students from Upper Moreland High School, stepping outside the classroom for a hands-on lesson about life.

“I just think it’s important for him to learn how to be selfless. Just has to do something for someone other than himself and expect nothing in return,” Terry explained.

Lauren Hempel is a student from Haverford High School, volunteering for a second time.

“They’re so thankful when we bring it to them. They wait for us at their doors. Some offer to bring us candy or money because they’re just so happy and overwhelmed,” Hempel said.

A feel good vibe and a nutritious gift that unites all families especially during the holiday season. 

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