Met Council and Chazaq provide Kosher food pantry to serve Kew Gardens

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Chazq CEO Yaniv Meirov, Met Council CEO David Greenfield, Chazaq CEO Yanir Meirov, Assemblymembers Daniel Rosenthal and David Weprin and other community leaders participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lev Aharon food pantry. (Photo: Jacob Henry)

A new food pantry opened in Flushing on Thursday that will be supplied exclusively with Kosher Food to serve the Bukharian community and others in the neighboring Kew Gardens area.  

The Lev Aharon Community Food Pantry was created by two leading Jewish charity organizations, Met Council and Chazaq, with the goal of providing help to the largely Jewish community in the neighborhood, but will also serve anyone in need.    

Met Council CEO David Greenfield led the ceremony, guaranteeing that the shelves will always be stocked at the food pantry, but reminded people that it is still a “bittersweet day.”  

“The community needs more help,” Greenfield said. “The least that we can do for this community is to make sure that they have a sustained source of food.” 

The pantry is named after Rabbi Aharon Walkin and Aharon Meirov, two influential figures in community who died from COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic.  

Chazaq CEO Yaniv Meirov, a Rabbi and nephew of Aharain Meirov, spoke at the event and said that the pantry is “a continuation of their legacy.”  

“I’m so happy that these two individuals gave their hearts to the community,” Yaniv said. “They gave to all of those in need.”  

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards spoke at the event, saying that the pantry shows the strength of communities coming together to help each other.  

“Whenever we can put food on an individual’s plate, that is what Queens is about,” Richards said.  “That is what the Jewish community is about.  We have looked out for each other, looked out for our neighbors, and that’s what makes Queens a strong borough.”  

Queens Borough President speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lev Aharon Food Pantry. (Photo: Jacob Henry)

Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal gave thanks to the volunteers and staff members at the pantry, and took note of the hundreds of food bags being put together for the community.  

“I had the pleasure of volunteering here last week and the demand is real and the work is exhausting,” Rosenthal said. “After a half hour, I was exhausted and (the volunteers) were here for hours.  There were lines around the block.”  

Councilmember Barry Grodenchik, an influential figure in helping provide food for the hungry, praised Met Council and Chazaq for their “incredibly important work.”  

“The work right now is making sure that nobody goes hungry in the city of New York,” he said.  

Many community leaders and organizers attended The Lev Aharon Community Food Pantry ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Assemblymember David Weprin, State Senator Joe Addabo, City Council candidates, rabbis and more.  

Chazaq is a Queens-based organization that provides community outreach for thousands of Jewish New Yorkers.  

Met Council has given out over 15 million pounds of food during the pandemic, while supporting over 150 food pantries in the city, while serving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.  

Read more: Queens Ledger

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