Saturday, October 19, 2019

(Courtesy of JFCS) “I even have earrings on for the occasion!”

Joy certainly lives up to her first name. With a broad smile, she opens her apartment door to a volunteer from Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS). Her friendly greeting and lively spirit are a welcome hello each week, as the volunteer delivers a package of pre-made meals, right on her doorstep.

Joy is one of the hundreds of seniors in Northern New Jersey who receive meals through the JFCS program. Joy has relied upon these weekly deliveries as a much-needed service. At 81, she finds that she cannot move around as much or be as mobile as she used to be.

“It’s very difficult,” she explained “because you get to the point where you just cannot do things on your own.” Joy has undergone several surgeries and her children live outside of New Jersey and are unable to help her daily. The weekly visits from the volunteers at JFCS are invaluable to Joy and the hundreds of seniors who share Joy’s challenges.

“It means a great deal. Otherwise, it becomes a hardship… these (meals) are nourishing, these are well-balanced, this is all taken into consideration.”

But it’s no small feat to make this mitzvah happen. JFCS relies on dedicated volunteers, committed staff and community engagement to provide much-needed donations to supply over 48,000 meals each year to homebound seniors through Kosher Meals on Wheels. Food and financial donations also support the almost 200 families who visit the JFCS food pantries in Teaneck and Fair Lawn. One of the significant ways the agency raises funds for these programs is through its annual Wheels-for-Meals, Ride to Fight Hunger, coming up on June 23, 2019.

Now in its ninth year, the JFCS Wheels for Meals, Ride to Fight Hunger raises funds to help provide seniors like Joy with healthy meals delivered to their homes. Funds raised from the ride support food assistance programs at JFCS and help people facing food scarcity in the Northern New Jersey community. With hundreds of participants every year, the charity bike ride includes courses for all ages and experience levels, with 3, 10, 25 and 50-mile route options throughout the Hudson Valley. An optional 2.3-mile hike through the Rockleigh Woods Sanctuary is available as well.

This year’s ride features a new location at Temple Emanu-El, 180 Piermont Road in Closter, New Jersey. To register, please visit www.RidetoFightHunger.com. Parking is available onsite, and there will be food and beverages for hungry bikers.

For more information and questions about the bike ride, please visit www.RidetoFightHunger.com or call JFCS at
(201) 837-9090.