Monday, March 27, 2023

(Courtesy of Project Ezrah) We all know the expression “Two Jews, three opinions,” but the one thing everyone can agree on is that grocery prices are rising. Everyday basics are becoming more and more expensive and out of reach for our neighbors.

Project Ezrah works to keep a finger on the pulse of the needs of our community. The need to stretch grocery budgets is an issue that is front and center for many right now. In response Project Ezrah is pleased to announce the launch of our new Grocery Store Gift Card Grant. Like other grant programs offered by Project Ezrah, this grant will have a simple and discrete online application process. If a family is going through a difficult period of time and needs a one-time boost to keep things going, they are welcome to apply. If the need seems to be recurring, Project Ezrah will work with the family to help find more long-term support.

This grant program was established by Debra and Jared Okun, L’iluy Nishmas Debra’s late brother, Zev Yosef Ben Avraham Yaakov, Zev Horowitz.

“We were first introduced to Project Ezrah at the young leadership event this past August,” said Jared Okun. “This is where we first learned about the work that Project Ezrah does for the needy in our community. It wasn’t long after that we were discussing the recent rise in grocery costs, and how difficult this must be for those already struggling in our community, and we wanted to do something to help.

“As gift cards are commonplace in our local stores, it would be great if we can set up a discrete fund to provide gift cards for those in need in our community,” Okun continued. “We realized, however, that we did not have the access or reach to connect with those in need, leading us to reach out to project Ezrah, as we had recently learned about all of the help that the organization provides within our community.”

Gift cards will be available for many different grocery stores within the community to help families where they are most comfortable shopping.

“There are many needs in our neighborhoods, but nothing is as basic as buying food,” said Rachel Krich, executive director of Project Ezrah. “We are lucky to have a wide network of food programs in our community whom we partner with. This new grant will create another doorway into not only Project Ezrah, but into the great world of chesed organizations within Bergen County. We hope to be able to direct families to the right places to get the support they need. We are grateful to the Okun family for their partnership on this program that we hope will help many of our neighbors.”

“We were hoping to not only donate monetarily to this project,” added Okun, “but to actively spearhead and continually support it through fundraising, publicity and any other physical demands that may arise on a day-to-day basis. As a young family in this community, we know that this is a project our friends would be eager to support as well.”

You can find more information on both applying for a grant or help donate towards it at Ezrah.org or by emailing [email protected]

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