Met Council already runs the largest kosher food distribution in the world and spends nearly $10 million on free kosher food distribution each year. Now, as part of their ongoing effort to provide even more and better food to the over 180,000 people every year they serve, CEO David G. Greenfield announced the creation of a new role – Food Czar – to fight for more food for the Jewish poor. “As the voice of Jewish poverty, it is our job to fight for the neediest New Yorkers. That’s why I decided to create a new position to be laser-focused on what the neediest New Yorkers need – more food.”
After searching far and wide for months, Met Council announced that Jessica Chait, formerly Chief of Staff to UJA-Federation’s CEO Eric Goldstein, has joined Met Council as their Managing Director of Food. As Food Czar, Jessica will be a leading spokesperson for Jewish hunger and an advocate for more funding and resources for Met Council’s network of 35 kosher food pantries and Rosh Hashanah and Pesach food distributions throughout New York. This new position will also support Met Council’s exclusive American Express food card program which distributes over $1million a year in emergency food cards that are coded to only work in supermarkets.
“I am deeply committed to improving access to quality, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers and to work on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of low-income Jews across this city,” said Jessica Chait. “I couldn’t be more excited to be doing this work with our CEO David Greenfield and a dedicated team of professional and lay leaders who are committed to helping hundreds of thousands of needy New Yorkers each year.”
This new position was created in conjunction with UJA-Federation as part of their Centennial Anti-Poverty Initiative. As part of that same initiative, Met Council is leading a pilot of food pantries that are using new Digital Food Choice Pantry system to ensure that clients get the best possible food with the most dignity. The Digital Choice Food Pantry has already transformed the massive lines outside of many food pantries. Before Pesach, for example, wait times were reduced from over 4 hours to less than 15 minutes.
“This is an incredible day for Met Council as we continue to lead the fight against Jewish poverty. With the support of UJA Federation of New York, we are bringing unprecedented resources to combating poverty in New York. I’m especially excited to have Jessica join our executive team. She will bring over a decade of experience focusing on anti-poverty initiatives.”
Jessica Chait joins Met Council via UJA-Federation of New York. Prior to her position as Chief of Staff to the CEO, she was the Assistant Director of Capital Gifts and Special Initiatives at UJA. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and has an MPA from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.