$1M Gift Names the "Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS"

Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS) is pleased to announce a new $1 million gift for the “Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS.” Anne and Norman Jacobson’s gift coincides with the opening of JFS’ new food pantry in a 2,600 sq. ft. warehouse space located at 430 S. Congress Ave in Delray Beach. The naming and opening were celebrated at the pantry at a Grand Opening on the evening of November 29, 2012.

JFS food pantry services began in 1996 with 35 clients. Today, the Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS provides more than 550 people with bi-monthly food packages. All recipients are first screened to determine their eligibility. Significant increase in need caused JFS to outgrow its location on the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County campus west of Boca Raton.

“Over the past decade, the number of our neighbors who need help with their day to day sustenance has increased tremendously, and the number of requests to the Food Pantry at JFS just keeps increasing,” said Norman Jacobson. “To ensure that those who must depend on a pantry can continue to obtain their essential nourishment and maintain their dignity, Annie and I decided to make this gift. We must acknowledge those whose vision, dedication and generosity helped create the Forster Family Kosher Food Pantry that served our community’s needs from 1996 until earlier this year: Marcy and Bill Forster, Phyliss and Gerry Golden, Madeline and Eugene Pargh, Elise (z’l) and Moe Samet (z’l).”

“The Federation applauds JFS’s expansion of its food pantry and its ability to service more needy residents in our community,” said Matt Levin, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “We are also deeply moved by another powerful example of generosity and compassion for our community and our people from Anne and Norman Jacobson.”

In addition to a much expanded storage area, the new Food Pantry at JFS will feature a “shopping” area for clients with transportation to make selections onsite rather than receive food deliveries. The new location also includes a walk-in produce cooler for donated produce and will allow JFS to begin storing store fresh milk.

“The funds for expansion were provided by the Oscar and Ray Merber Trust (z’l). We were blessed to have their niece, Marilyn Ripen, at the Grand Opening to honor their memory and their wonderful gift to the agency and the community,” said Danielle N. Hartman, President & CEO of JFS. “Our new location will enable the agency to feed more people in need. In addition, we will be able to save money through bulk purchasing and deliver more customized food packages to the people we help. We remain committed to serving all the Jewish food needs in our community.”

“We are thrilled to be able to take this next step in having our own location, which will be a showcase for JFS food programs in our community,” said Lisa Goodman, Chair of the Food Pantry at JFS. “Without the vision and generosity of the Goldens, Parghs, Samets and the Forster family, the food pantry would never have come to be, and through our expansion and the Jacobsons’ gift will be able to do far more.”

A non-profit, non-sectarian agency, Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service of South Palm Beach County has been committed to enhancing and improving the quality of life for all members of the community since 1979. JFS offers help, hope and humanity through a comprehensive range of programs and services which support people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. Funding is provided by private and corporate support, grants, special events and individuals. For more information, visit www.ruthralesjfs.org, phone (561) 852-3333 or email info@ruthralesjfs.org.

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