IKEA Helps City Harvest, QJCC Food Pantry

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

An effort by IKEA to fight hunger, especially in children, is trickling down to help a local food pantry in Queens.

IKEA partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, to sponsor in-store programs that support children’s hunger relief. One of the local food banks associated with Feeding America is City Harvest, which donates food to pantries like the one at the Queens Jewish Community Council.

Therefore, donations to IKEA’s Feeding the Future program will help local Queens residents who need a good meal.

Through July 31, IKEA will donate one dollar to Feeding America for every healthy kids’ meal purchased in any U.S. IKEA restaurant. The meal costs $1.99. Customers can also add donations of their chosen amount to food purchases in the IKEA restaurant, Swedish Food Market and Bistro.

These donations will assist food banks like City Harvest, which has been partnered with the QJCC for at least five years, according to the council’s executive director, Cynthia Zalisky.

“City Harvest provides us with fresh produce. They have a kosher division,” she said. “Since 2011, we have had a spike in families coming to us in the food pantry by 30 percent.

City Harvest has been very helpful to us, so we can provide fresh produce for the pantry. I’ve been excited about that because it helps the personal value of the package we give the families.” Zalisky added that the QJCC pantry gives about 1,500 packages of kosher food per month to needy families. She said she was appreciative of IKEA’s efforts to support food pantries.

“I thank IKEA without knowing for helping City Harvest because City Harvest has been a tremendous help for us,” she said. “For Passover, City Harvest gave us four pallets of vegetables, as well as for Thanksgiving. It was really able to enhance the holidays for our clients.”

Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of more than 200 member food banks. City Harvest helps fight hunger by collecting excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers and farms, and delivering them to more than 500 community food programs throughout the City.

The QJCC food pantry is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. It is located at 119-45 Union Tpke., Forest Hills.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joe-Marvilli.