At a time when families and communities are hurting, JRA is providing more nourishment to individuals experiencing food insecurity than ever before. The economic impact of the pandemic has created a food security crisis and has placed hunger relief agencies at the front lines. Pre-pandemic, 1,000 volunteers would come to JRA’s warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia on one Sunday each month to pack and deliver food. As the pandemic swept across the region, our services were adapted to include social distancing protocol, new safety measures, and a modified Food Distribution to limit the risk of exposure for clients and volunteers. Today, we are supporting the Greater Philadelphia region by delivering 15 lbs. of free food and hygiene products to 6,400 low-income individuals, monthly.
In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk to our recipients, staff, and volunteers. In the warehouse, these measures include requiring volunteers and staff to wear face coverings, practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, and enhaning cleaning procedures. We have also implemented a drive-through pick-up model for all deliveries and a no-contact "knock, drop, and go" procedure at recipient homes. We continue to monitor the spread of coronavirus and follow the guidance of experts in public health, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia.
JRA services are delivered monthly by volunteers via a no-contact drop-off. The food assistance includes a monthly supplemental box of kosher pantry staples and fresh produce (from October through April) delivered directly to a client's door. A supplemental bag of kid-friendly items is provided for families with children age 18 and under. To be eligible, you must have a household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty guideline and live within one of the zip codes that JRA services. You must complete an application to be considered for our services. Find out more on our Get Help page.
If you are seeking immediate food assistance, please follow this link to a map of the City of Philadelphia's food distribution sites. Here, you can locate food sites, student meal sites, senior meal sites, and outdoor meal sites located in your area. No ID or proof of income is required for the sites. Find out if you are eligible for additional benefits by BenePhilly at calling 833-373-5868. Operators can help register you for benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, and PACE. Translators are available. If you need assistance enrolling in SNAP, please call the SNAP hotline at 215-430-0556.
Volunteerism is critical to the core mission of JRA. We expect all volunteers to self-screen prior to reporting to a scheduled volunteer shift. If you have any symptoms, are feeling unwell, or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 please refrain from volunteering at this time. When volunteers enter the warehouse for a shift they will be asked to fill out a Covid-19 screening instrument.
We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines from the CDC website. JRA's clients depend on volunteers to deliver food to their homes. JRA has initiated safety procedures that are outlined above, including procedures in the warehouse while volunteers are packing food and implementing a drive-through pick-up model deliveries and a "knock, drop, and go" policy at recipient homes. Since volunteer opportunities are regularly changing, please visit our Volunteer Calendar for up to date information.
JRA Safety Requirements for Volunteers and Staff Members