Fighting Hunger during Passover and all year round...

I did the Challenge for a week.

Our clients do the Challenge all year.

 Passover is a time when poverty is brought to the attention of our community. Affording the high cost of special food needed to observe Passover for one week is a challenge for hundreds of Cincinnati families in need.  Imagine not being able to afford nutritious meals every week of the year.

Hard boiled eggs. PB&J sandwiches. Apples. A piece of cod. And some spinach and brussel sprouts.


That was pretty much all I ate for a week. I just completed the SNAP Challenge, eating only the food I could afford if I were living on food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


The goal of the Challenge is to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity, and dispel the misperceptions commonly held about this government program designed to help stretch the food budgets of 46 million low-income Americans.


I’ve taken the Challenge three times before, in an effort to raise awareness and advocate for this needed program that helps so many of the people who come to Jewish Family Service for assistance. This year I thought I’d approach it from a different angle and put a spotlight on senior adult (age 60+) hunger. So I took the Challenge in the persona of an 82 year-old independent woman with diabetes. I was hungry and I was frustrated with my limited food choices.


If I didn’t have a Graeter’s ice cream cone, I would have “won.”  But what does it mean to “win” this Challenge?


One year I received the recommendation that the best strategy to deploy to make sure I stay within budget was to simply eat beans and rice every day for the week. The suggestions people make assume that this is a Challenge that  you can beat, a Challenge that you can win.


Well, poverty isn’t some game to “beat”.  Our clients can’t “win” if they are just clever or strategic enough. Poverty is something that is tolerated, despised, and fought. Hopefully it can be overcome through hard work, a hand up, a lucky break – and maybe with help from someone like a Jewish Family Service experienced social worker.
Are YOU up to a challenge? Donate today toward our goal of $50,000 to purchase Passover food that our volunteers deliver to Cincinnati families in need, and to help keep Jewish Family Service Heldman Family Food Pantry stocked with meat, canned goods, fresh produce, and personal care items all year round.


Thank you for your support. Together we can eradicate hunger and poverty one person at a time.

Beth Schwartz, CEO

Read Beth's experience taking the food stamp challenge



Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service is a special project bringing together monetary contributions and volunteer energy to brighten the holiday for individuals and families experiencing financial difficulties.


Won’t you help us deliver Passover meals to families in need?

How can you help?

You can donate food, money and/or time.


1. Collect and donate Passover food. Barrels for Passover food collections have been placed at most congregations and at the Mayerson JCC. Please drop off boxes of Matzah, Macaroons or Matzah Ball Soup Mix to be included in the Passover deliveries to famiilies in need.


2. Help by donating the money needed to purchase fresh food items that cannot be donated. We are off to a great start with a very generous contribution from The Rockwern Charitable Foundation. Your tax-deductible donation will help us reach the $50,000 we need to stop hunger in our community year-round. Donate online now.


3. Donate your time. Join us as a volunteer by delivering the food order to the Heldman Family Food Pantry, assembling the Seder boxes, or joining other volunteers in distributing the boxes to clients during food pantry hours or directly to their homes.  The preparation and delivery site will be at Jewish Family Service Barbash Family Vital Support Center, 3113 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, OH 45220 on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Sign up to volunteer now.

Volunteer for Passover Delivery


For more information or to volunteer, contact

Sandee Golden, Heldman Family Food Pantry and Volunteer Program Manager

or fill out the online form



Dr. Samuel S. Rockwern Passover Delivery of Jewish Family Service was founded as Cincinnati Pesach Delivery Project in 1998 by a group of dedicated volunteers from Northern Hills Synagogue and Yavneh Day School.