Officer Michael Jacobsen, Mendy Mirocznik, and Officer John Sibal packing Passover Food Packages at the 45th Annual Pre-Passover Food Distribution

The Staten Island Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO-SI) held its Annual Passover food drive and distribution Wednesday, March 25, at the Young Israel of Staten Island. Thanks to the efforts of COJO-SI, approximately 800 families in Staten Island are able to enjoy Passover 2020 with the traditional foods necessary to experience festive Sedarim and holiday meals. This year due to the sad reality of the coronavirus, a stream of cars flowed from Brielle Avenue to Forest Hill Road, where the Young Israel of Staten Island is located, throughout the distribution.

This year marks the 45th year of COJO helping make sure that all members of the Staten Island community can celebrate Passover in a dignified manner in accordance with Jewish traditions and customs.

Mendy Mirocznik, president of COJO, stated, “The positive spirit demonstrated today helped alleviate the down feeling that we are experiencing due to the Covid19, coronavirus crisis. It is love and fellowship that will get us through this crisis. It is only when good people partner up and work together, we get the strength, wisdom, and fortitude to preserve through the challenges we face.”

Mirocznik thanked COJO security chairman and coordinator of the Staten Island Shomrim, Ari Weiss, for mobilizing the Shomrim and for their great work in helping to make the Pesach Food Distribution the success that it was.

Mirocznik further thanked the generous COJO Food Pantry partners who made this Passover food drive and distribution possible. Mirocznik thanked Assemblyman Michael Cusick for his strong support and advocacy. Mirocznik thanked in particular Met Council on Poverty who generously donated Passover food items, arranged the delivery and coordinated with Food Bank for New York City and City Harvest. Mirocznik thanked Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfield and President Robert Rosenberg of the Young Israel of Staten Island for once again hosting the Annual Pre-Passover Food Distribution.

Mirocznik concluded, “The COJO Passover Food Relief is just one component of our pantry that services all people of Staten Island. Our goal is to make sure that no person goes hungry in Staten Island.” Scott Maurer, CEO of COJO, agreed and added, “My dream is that no one should experience poverty and hunger and the pantry should go out of business due to a lack of clients in need. However, until we reach that day, we here at COJO are in the business of combating hunger.” Maurer also added, “In this time of uncertainty, we implore everyone to stay inside. If you must leave, please maintain social distance and have a healthy Passover.” n

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