NEW YORK, NY – Following weeks of delays, the city is adding free kosher Grab & Go meals to the menu at ten schools in Queens and Brooklyn. The announcement came after Council Member Rory Lancman and The Jewish Caucus of The New York City Council called on the mayor to include the hundreds of thousands of kosher-observant New Yorkers left out of his anti-hunger initiative.
Grab & Go has been available at city schools since the onset of the pandemic. The lauded “Feeding New York” plan included adding kosher meals to the Grab & Go program, but it did not materialize until today when Council Member Lancman and the Jewish Caucus delivered a letter to Mayor de Blasio with a clear message: put kosher meals on the table immediately.
“By offering meals to everyone besides kosher-keeping New Yorkers, the city is sending a strong and deeply offensive message about its priorities,” the letter read.
"If you say you’re going to feed all New Yorkers, then you have to make meals all New Yorkers can eat," said Council Member Lancman, Chair of the Council’s Committee on the Justice System and member of the Jewish Caucus. “The Mayor’s plan was not ‘food justice’ until today.”
Beginning Thursday three free kosher meals are available each day at all ten school locations, including P.S. 154 Queens at 75-02 162nd Street, strategically situated between Kew Gardens Hills and Hillcrest. A full list of hours and locations, including at schools in Far Rockaway, Crown Heights, Boro Park, and Midwood, is available at schools.nyc.gov/koshermeals.
Honorable Bill de Blasio
Mayor, City of New York
New York City Hall
New York, NY 10007
April 20, 2020
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
We write to request your immediate action in providing free Grab & Go meals to kosher-observant New Yorkers.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis here in New York City, tens of thousands of our neighbors have become unemployed. Additionally, schools and senior centers are closed, leaving millions without their usual source of meals. Several weeks ago, you laudably instituted Grab & Go for all, including students, families, and adults. Halal and vegetarian options are also offered. However, New Yorkers who observe kosher dietary restrictions are unable to receive free meals from the Grab & Go program.
Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers keep kosher, and they are being left behind in the most diverse city in the world. By offering free meals to everyone besides kosher-keeping New Yorkers, the city is sending a strong and deeply offensive message about its priorities.
There must not be any more delay: kosher Grab & Go must become available immediately. There should not be any New Yorkers left hungry during this widespread crisis, and your administration should be leading the charge for equality in food accessibility.
We thank you for your attention to this matter, and expect to hear back promptly on this urgent matter.