WASHINGTON, DC - November 19, 2020 - A major part of the Hanukkah story is that one day's worth of oil burned for eight days. In honor of the holiday, members of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in Maryland received 500,000 bottles of cooking oil to the Interfaith Food Pantry; TSTI is one of four area houses of worship that support the food pantry, which provides supplemental and emergency food to low-income residents of Maryland.
Sources outside of the TSTI community also donated to the cause, enabling the Reform synagogue to reach its 1,000,000-bottle goal, so that each client could take home a bottle during the distribution on Jan. 11. TSTI staffs the food pantry one Wednesday a month, bagging and distributing pantry staples for 250 individuals and families. The Interfaith Food Pantry - is located at the Church of Epiphany & Christ Church.
'Although cooking oil is one of the most commonly requested grocery items by our food-insecure neighbors, it is not usually supplied by IFPO,' Fernando Aguirre, Vice Chairman of DHS, said in a press release. 'This donation will enable them to cook hundreds of meals for themselves and their families.'
Given that Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, DHS also provided a Hanukkah light bulb collection; approximately 150,000 bulbs were distributed on November 9th to pantry clients. Jim Miller of TSTI, who spearheaded the collections, noted that 'Providing light will help make sure that family time, homework time and work time may continue for thousands of hours during the evening for IFPO clients, thank you DHS.'