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PR- 061-09
February 6, 2009


Empire Kosher to Donate Over 50,000 Pounds of Kosher Poultry to Community Food Pantries

Mayor Bloomberg today joined Greg Rosenbaum owner and CEO of Empire Kosher and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, to announce the donation of over 50,000 pounds of kosher poultry from Empire Kosher to the food pantry of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. The donation will benefit thousands of needy families, elderly residents and new immigrants with low incomes. Recently, the Bloomberg Administration and City Council allocated $1.3 million to provide additional frozen vegetables in 142 soup kitchens and food pantries that serve 300,000 people per month, as part of a series of initiatives to help more New Yorkers stretch their paychecks further in these tough times. The Mayor was also joined by William Rapfogel, President of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), Wendell Young, President of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), at the Oneg Shabbos Food Pantry in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

"With so many New Yorkers are facing tough times, we must all do everything we can to tackle our challenges together as a City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our Administration recently provided emergency food programs across the City with $1.3 million worth of additional frozen foods, but many programs need help from others, too. I applaud New York City’s Jewish Labor Committee, Empire Kosher, and the Met Council for stepping in and coming together to help those struggling in these hard economic times."

Empire Kosher, the Jewish Labor Committee and the Met Council are working together to provide emergency food for thousands of needy New Yorkers. The Met Council provides more than 4.5 million pounds of kosher food to needy households in New York City every year, making it the largest kosher food pantry in the nation. Met Council serves 13,000 families each month in Jewish communities throughout the five boroughs with its 35 distribution sites. Families that keep Kosher can find it especially difficult to put food on the table. In the past, the protein that was most consistently available for distribution by Met Council’s Food Pantry was canned tuna. Due to the immediate need for kosher food donations, Empire has already delivered 4,500 pounds of kosher poultry to the Met Council and will continue to supply them throughout 2009.

"Empire is an example of how a company can do well while doing good, said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Jewish Labor Committee. "At a time when all we hear about is corporate greed, they’re a reminder that the truly successful businesses are those that work with unions and give back to the community. America would be better off if more companies followed their example."

"For more than 66 years, Empire has been proud to provide the finest kosher poultry products," said Greg Rosenbaum, owner and CEO of Empire Kosher. "Empire Kosher, our suppliers, our kosher certifying organizations, our employees and our consumers are glad to be able to make this important contribution to our community. When consumers decide what to purchase for Shabbat, they can not only feed their own families but also help feed less fortunate kosher-keeping families in New York City by supporting Empire. In such tough times, we need to be sure that every family in our community has access to healthy and wholesome foods. I hope to see our kosher industry colleagues join us and do all they can to help this vital program."

"Maintaining a steady supply of kosher chicken has always been extremely tough for us in the past," said William Rapfogel of Met Council. "These donations will feed thousands of families, just as more families are reaching out for help."


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

Arieh Lebowitz (JLC)   (212) 477-0707

Elie Rosenfeld (Empire)   (201) 681-9310

Rachel Wizenfeld (Met Council)   (212) 453-9623

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