Kids needing a kosher option at so-called "grab-and-go" food distribution sites will have it, after local elected officials lobbied the "food czar" to make such religiously required options available in the Bronx.
The meals will be available at P.S. 24 Spuyten Duyvil, 660 W. 236th St., beginning Monday, according to the two lawmakers who helped make it happen — Councilman Andrew Cohen and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. That will make it the 18th food distribution site in the city that will offer kosher meals on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is the right decision," Cohen and Dinowitz said in a joint statement. "We are grateful to Commissioner Garcia and the mayor's office for helping making sure that people in our community do not have to choose between their faith and their food. The addition of this new kosher meal site in Riverdale is an important first step to address the need among the large observant community here in the Bronx."
Kathryn Garcia, who serves as Mayor Bill de Blasio's "food czar," made the announcement last week, expanding kosher options into Riverdale. Such options had previously been in all the boroughs except the Bronx.
Before the move, many who observed kosher were helped by what Cohen and Dinowitz described as a patchwork of kosher food assistance providers and Jewish-affiliated nonprofit organizations. However, those groups have limited resources, and with the new food distribution site at P.S. 24, will be able to relieve some of that pressure in serving Bronx communities.
The meals are available to anyone, even if no one in the family attends public schools in New York City. They can be picked up Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m., with the morning set aside for children and families, and afternoons for adults picking up for children.
To learn more about the education department's food distribution program, visit Schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/free-meals.
"The current crisis has escalated food insecurity among residents to unprecedented levels, and emergency food assistance providers in the Bronx are stretched thin," Cohen and Dinowitz said. "The city's work to support their services are essential to ensuring that no one goes hungry during this difficult time."
CORRECTION: Meals are available to everyone based on need, and is not limited by age. An original version of this story provided different information.
Follow all the local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it relates to your neighborhood at RiverdalePress.com/coronavirus. Sign up for our newsletter to get daily updates on coverage and closing by sending your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, keep up with all the latest closures, postponements and what you can still take part in with our continuously updated list by clicking here.