Continuing to support those sick at home with coronavirus, the Jerusalem Municipality and IDF Homefront Command have partnered with Colel Chabad, Israel’s longest running social services organization since 1788, to distribute something extra to lift spirits.

The operation begins at Colel Chabad’s Pantry Packers, the Jerusalem based packing facility, known primarily for their volunteer packing experience. “We wake up in the morning and arrive here to the packing factory to pack a few things, sweets, savory things,” said Saar Vilnai, Commander of Sayeret Alon from Homefront Command. “From here we make our way to the Jerusalem neighborhoods, particularly the neighborhoods in the ‘red zone’ with corona patients, and we begin to distribute the packages to the houses, according to the organized list of recipients.”

“Being stuck at home for days on end was much more difficult than I anticipated,” said R who recently recovered from Covid-19. “Having the support of food and supplies without having to keep asking family or friends was a real lifesaver. The extra delivery of sweets was so appreciated and made it clear we weren’t forgotten.”

The organization was chosen by the IDF and government ministries to implement much of the food distribution and support due to the successful infrastructure Colel Chabad has set up in recent years through the National Food Security Program initiative.

“This has been a really challenging time for so many people,” said Rabbi Menachem Traxler, Director of Volunteering for Colel Chabad and founder of Pantry Packers. “They need our help and we are proud to be able to assist in whatever ways we can. In addition to the groceries that they receive, these special deliveries of cookies, rogelach and chocolates are yet another way we can show these individuals and families who are stuck and home and hopefully on their way to full recovery that they are cared for by their country and by their people.”

“At the end of the day, we begin to really understand that what started as a pilot of cooperation turned out to be very successful,” said Vilnai. “We are helping the citizens, and the reactions have been amazing. The residents are really happy to get our help, and we, of course, are enjoying the experience and feeling the importance of this mission.”