US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman volunteered at a food packing center in Jerusalem recently, preparing packages for needy families in Israel.

The charity group Pantry Packers, which is operated by the Colel Chabad organization in Jerusalem, welcomed back Ambassador Friedman for a special holiday packing experience at its Jerusalem facility.

The facility has become a command center for food rescue and distribution, incorporating dry goods, rescued food and the meals on wheels program.

Over 1,080 bags of whole wheat pasta were sifted, labeled, filled and sealed by the Ambassador, his family, friends and the Embassy community, to be distributed in food boxes delivered to thousands of families for the Chanukah holiday.

Friedman at Pantry Packers
Friedman at Pantry PackersMendy Hechtman

In addition to the dry goods, the group helped repack 200 meals from food rescued by LEKET, Israel’s leading food rescue organization, to be delivered to the homebound and elderly.

The group wrapped up the visit packing 150 gifts for the orphans about to participate in the annual Colel Chabad Chanukah Retreat for widows and orphans in Jerusalem. The retreat, supported by The Finger Family and the Meromim Foundation, will host 80 families, 300 women and children for a 2 night retreat, featuring entertainment, trips, gifts and more.

“We’re back again on the eve of Chanukah at Pantry Packers to prepare meals and wrap presents for those in need of a little kindness”, said Ambassador Friedman. “I can think of no better way to usher in the holidays!”

Pantry Packers is an initiative of Colel Chabad, Israel’s longest continuously-running charitable organization, founded in 1788. An increasingly popular destination for tourists and local Israelis, the facility gives its volunteers an opportunity to directly impact Israel’s neediest families and distributes tens of thousands of packages each week.

The facility also hosts the LoveAble gift shop with a selection of handmade ceramics for sale, including hanukiot for the holiday, run by the residents of Beit Finger, a residence for people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other degenerative diseases.

“It was a great honor when the Ambassador and Embassy staff volunteered with us last year, but this second visit makes that much more of an impact knowing that all involved see the importance of giving back, " said Rabbi Menachem Traxler, Director of Pantry Packers. "Colel Chabad, and all of our programs in Israel, continue to feel the strong support from the American community in helping us provide for those in need, especially during the holidays."

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