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Brotherly Love: South Jersey man Helping Feed Families

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Ukee Washington reports.

Video Transcript

UKEE WASHINGTON: Now in this week's story of brotherly love, a South Jersey man wanted to make sure children and families, including those who are Jewish, are well-served by a federal meals program. So he got to work.


On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, cars are pulling up, and boxes are going in.

RIVKA JUNGREIS: We give them what they want, whatever kind of milk they want, whatever kind of bread, maza they want.

YONATON YARES: This is our South Jersey Kosher Food Distribution.

UKEE WASHINGTON: That's Yonaton Yares, who helped make this a reality for the area's large Jewish community.

- What's in there?

YONATON YARES: So we've got milk.

UKEE WASHINGTON: His first job out of college was in a food pantry. When he heard about a kosher food giveaway for schoolchildren in Passaic, he worked his knowledge and contacts with boundless energy.

YONATON YARES: The unemployment rate is sky high, still. The people are still trying to get somewhere with this. People aren't used to having their kids home. I've got five kids at home, myself. I know the expenses are up. Not everyone can get on food stamps. There are no barriers. You have kids at home? Great, come. We can help you. We can feed you.

UKEE WASHINGTON: Federal funding pays for the meals. Each meal box has 14 meals per child, seven for breakfast, seven for lunch, with fresh foods and non-perishable.

LILA MAHAFFY: All right. You're good to go.

UKEE WASHINGTON: About 30 regular volunteers rotate to help on Tuesday afternoons.

LILA MAHAFFY: I just hope this will bring them what they need to, at least, survive a week, because I know especially during COVID and the pandemic, it hasn't been easy.

UKEE WASHINGTON: They started with about 100 families. Now more than 300 have signed up. Between this and a second location, they will be giving out more than 500 boxes a week. You don't have to be Jewish to receive food, and you don't have to meet any income requirements.

YONATON YARES: Don't worry. We're here for you. No judgment. Just ask for help.

UKEE WASHINGTON: And Yonatan's driven by his personal mantra.

YONATON YARES: What have I done today to make someone else's life better? And if you've done one thing like that, it's a good day.

UKEE WASHINGTON: My man. His next goal is to get a second van for everything they need to transport. If you'd like more information about the program, or to find out how to sign up, go to cbsphilly.com/brotherly. And while you're there, don't forget to tell us who spreading brotherly love in your neighborhood. Jeff?