As the new school year starts, many children are outfitted with new clothing or even have shiny new supplies to take with them to school. For hundreds of thousands of needy New Yorkers, however, that’s just not an option. That’s why Met Council, America’s Largest Jewish Communal Social Safety Net, announced today that it has distributed over 1,800 backpacks to students in need – the largest distribution of free backpacks in Met Council’s history.
“I’m proud that we at Met Council are expanding our many different programs for struggling New Yorkers,” said Met Council’s CEO David G. Greenfield. “This past Pesach we gave out more food, this summer we gave out more free kosher lunches and now we are giving out more free backpacks than ever before. Putting a child on equal footing with their classmates is something so important for developing children. It really makes all the difference in the world to a child that can start school with a brand-new backpack full of supplies. It gives that child confidence, and more importantly, the dignity to succeed.”
By partnering with eleven of its sixteen associated Jewish Community Councils (JCC) across the city, Met Council provided the children who are enlisted among its crisis and domestic violence clients with backpacks filled with quality school supplies. The backpacks are regular backpacks with no Met Council branding, allowing the students to feel comfortable carrying them around.
“With the help of Met Council and UJA, we distributed well over 400 backpacks filled with supplies to local school children,” said Moshe Brandsdorfer, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula (JCCRP). “Kids will be kids and their backpacks don’t last from year to year. It is essential for a child to start off the school year on the right foot and have a new backpack and the right supplies just like their peers. These kids will enter school ready to learn and grow.”
The backpack distribution took place at the same time as Met Council’s Rosh Hashanah food distribution where Met Council is providing kosher food to more than 100,000 needy New Yorkers at seventy distribution sites across New York. This comes on the heels of Met Council’s successful free lunch program at the end of the summer that distributed 5,000 free kosher lunches in New York. Met Council, the largest tzedakah in New York, has ten different programs dedicated to helping over 225,000 New Yorkers in need each year.