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Alleviating Hunger

Our commitment to alleviating hunger and food insecurity

We are committed to addressing hunger in our community, breaking bread with those less fortunate to learn about and help eradicate causes of food insecurity. Our congregation participates in monthly, annual and emergent hunger crisis projects.

We have several traditional long-standing projects: our monthly Jewish community dinners with Urban Ministries of Durham (see below for details), quarterly meals with Families Moving Forward, Our High Holy Days Food Drive, and the Christmas Dinners for hundreds of homebound clients of Meals on Wheels—Durham.

Emergent hunger crisis projects over the past few years have included that Judea Reform and its congregants have supported include: 

  • Donating and distributing food with Iglesia Emanuel’s Food Pantry during COVID
  • Feeding displaced residents of  McDougald Terrace Public Housing community
  • Collecting nutritional supplements for Meals on Wheels of Durham 
  • Collecting canned and packaged goods for PORCH  

 

Alleviating Hunger During the High Holy Days

(updated September 2021)

  •  

    This year, we offer two ways to contribute to our High Holy Days food drive to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in our community through our longstanding partnerships with Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC).

    YOU can help families in need either by making a donation through our virtual Tzedakah Box, or bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items (no glass or expired products) to Judea Reform during our Open Ark week September 1-5. Tzedakah box donations for September and October will go to IFC and UMD. Last year, generous congregants donated over $10,000 to this cause. We hope to be able to match that this year.

    Stay tuned for information on an upcoming 30-minute virtual Lunch and Learn. But in the meantime, you can read a bit about these two long-time JRC partners and essential service providers in Durham and Chapel Hill. 

    • Urban Ministries of Durham connects with the community to end homelessness and fight poverty by offering food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need. Urban Ministries of Durham is the only public shelter for single adults in Durham (and the back-up shelter for families) who will assist anyone in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, sexual orientation, gender or gender identification, or disability.

    • Inter-Faith Council for Social Service mobilizes our community to address homelessness, hunger, and economic disparity.  A non-denominational social service organization, IFC offers emergency shelter for homeless men, women and children. The Community Kitchen serves hot meals to the public three times a day, every day. Project Homestart supports 33 homeless families with transitional housing and case management services.

Jewish Community Dinner for Urban Ministries

Judea Reform Congregation partners with Durham’s Jewish Community including Beth El Synagogue, Kol Haskalah, Jewish for Good, and others to provide and serve dinner to over 200 guests at Urban Ministries of Durham the fourth Sunday of each month. 

During the COVID 19 crisis, we have adapted how we do this mitzvah by safely preparing the food at home for contact-less "trunk-to-trunk" drop off at our congregation on the fourth Sunday of the month between 12:30-1:00pm. Then our team delivers to the kitchen at Urban Ministries, where low-risk (vaccinated) volunteers prep and serve the meal. Please visit our Calendar for the current sign-up and new information for each fourth Sunday. 

A mainstay of this long-standing project is the protein rich Tuna Casserole.  Volunteers are encouraged to make casseroles at home, until we can come together again to cook at JRC's kitchen: 


Tuna Casserole Recipe for Urban Ministries Dinners

Note: We want our casseroles to be standardized so that our dinner guests don’t see major differences between casseroles. That said, if you have more or less tuna, veggies or mixed pasta, it’s okay. If you use cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom soup, that’s okay. Our goal is to have the casseroles generally look the same when they are served.    

Ingredients:

2 lbs.  Noodles with texture (rotini, penne, macaroni), cooked al dente and drained
48 oz  Tuna packed in water (or 4 12-oz cans) drain tuna 
42 oz  Cream of mushroom soup undiluted - Low sodium preferred.  (Do not dilute the soup because it gets too mushy.)  
2 lbs   Mixed frozen vegetables 
One large foil casserole pan (turkey roasting size) or several small foil pans at least 9" x 13"

Prepare:

  • In the casserole pan put drained noodles, drained tuna, undiluted cream of mushroom soup and uncooked mixed vegetables.  
  • Mix well with stirring spoon.
  • Fill a large foil casserole (turkey roasting sized) or two 9 x 13 inch foil pans.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Casserole is heated at the time of the dinner so no further cooking is necessary!


About Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD)

Urban Ministries of Durham connects with the community to help end homelessness and fight poverty by offering food, shelter and a future to our neighbors in need. Urban Ministries of Durham is the only public shelter for single adults in Durham (and the back-up shelter for families) who will assist anyone in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, sexual orientation, gender or gender identification, or disability. Learn More HERE.

Tue, November 30 2021 26 Kislev 5782