by Ari Packer
Hello! My name is Ari Packer, and I chose to work with the S.A.F.E Food Pantry for my Bar Mitzvah project this past April. I have had allergies to eggs and all types of nuts since I was two years old. Over the last two years, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Walk. My work with FARE led me to learn the about the S.A.F.E Food Pantry.
Before coming to the pantry, my sister and I used our saved money, to purchase all types of gluten free and allergy-free food for donation. When we arrived at food pantry for the first time, I was very impressed with how it worked. The bought food was weighed, totaling 143 pounds worth. I took all the food and stocked the allergy section.
The second part of my plan, was to get others to donate. I started by putting in some informational cards along with the Bar Mitzvah invitations. The information explained the S.A.F.E’s Food Pantry mission, along with an item donation list. After I accomplished that, I took a box attached with some flyers with pantry and collection information, along with an informational poster board with pictures of me stocking the shelves for the very first time. The board also had the food pantry’s mission on it.
A week before my Bar Mitzvah, I went into the K-3 grade classrooms of my Hebrew School, where I gave a presentation on my project and how they could help out! Along with this, I placed a short paragraph in the synagogue bulletin describing my project. It made me feel really good to be helping this great cause in so many different ways.
Four days before my Bar Mitzvah, I sent out an email to all of my friends asking for food item donations on the day of my Bar Mitzvah service. I also had my informational board and box out by the door so everyone could see my project. I wound up collecting a whole bin of food from friends and family! I was very happy to be able to collect this much food for such a great cause!
You too can make a difference during the month of May by participating in our Family-Led Food Drive program. Click here for more information on how to sign up.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization based in Howard County, Maryland.