As everyone prepares for Shavuos, it’s hard to forget the previous Yom Tov that Chicago celebrated together. This past Pesach was certainly one that will remain in everyone’s mind.

Every family is familiar with the pressure of preparing for Yom Tov. Imagine the pressure of taking responsibility for an entire community. And imagine the pressure of doing so during a Global Pandemic. Luckily, the Chicago Chesed Fund team knows no bounds.

Each year, Chicago Chesed Fund, together with our staff and volunteers are at the front lines, distributing food and essentials, like wine and matzah, and so much more to families who struggle to put food on their tables. 

But this year was different. As we faced global crisis at the hands of COVID-19, the Chicago community was in a state of disarray. Many people who had been planning to be out of town for Pesach suddenly had their plans reversed, and many young families were stuck making Pesach for the first time. Making Pesach can be stressful even at the best of times, but this year it looked like it was going to be exponentially more trying.

But no one in Chicago is ever alone. Together, Chicago Chesed Fund stepped in to ensure that every member of the Chicago Jewish community had what they needed for Yom Tov. In fact, the pre-Pesach season at Chicago Chesed Fund saw a 150% increase of orders, filling close to 1,000 orders! 

Our staff and volunteers worked day and night to coordinate orders, answer hundreds of calls, and provide items that were no longer available in local stores. The line of cars snaked around the block as people waited for their matzah and food. In the three decades that Chicago Chesed Fund has been servicing the Chicago community, they had never seen a need as great as this one.

“Chicago Chesed Fund went over and above to make sure that we received good, fresh and in-date packaged foods and supplies for Pesach. They did so with all safety precautions in mind, in a well-planned and gracefully orchestrated manner and with Rabbi Yossi Fuerst indefatigably heading up the whole operation in gloves and mask as well. Thank you!” ~A grateful family.

And now, even after the Pesach rush has died down, Chicago Chesed Fund is still geared up and ready to help our clients as they continue to shelter-in-place. With these families avoiding the grocery stores and struggling to put food on the table, Chicago Chesed Fund has been filling orders for dinner essentials such as pizza, hot dogs, ground beef, cold cuts and produce. Without leaving their cars, families can pick up food from the Chicago Chesed Fund warehouse to continue to feed their families throughout this lockdown.

Chicago Chesed Fund is grateful to be able to assist so many people as they continue to face the new reality of life with COVID-19. Chicago Chesed Fund thanks our volunteers, staff and supporters who have been helping us get through these trying times, and who continue to help us give back to the community.