Spring forward to fight hunger

Spring forward to fight hunger

As the coldest winter in decades refuses to relinquish its icy grip on our streets and souls, it’s not only our spirits that have been frozen.

Among the errands we have been postponing in hopes of warmer days have been our communal donations to local food banks. The Center for Food Action reports that its shelves are barer than usual because the usual donors understandably have been hunkering down at home by the radiator.

It’s understandable. But the needs of our hungry neighbors demand that once again we don our galoshes and parkas to do what’s necessary.

It is particularly timely, therefore, that this Sunday the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is holding its “Good Deeds Day” and collecting food for the Center for Food Action on Sunday.

“Good Deeds Day” is an international project of Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison. Basically, it’s the federation’s “Mitzvah Day” writ international. Ms. Arison is able to lend her high profile – she is number 319 on the Forbes list of billionaires – to the project; on Wednesday she rang the NASDAQ closing bell to highlight the program’s belief that “Every person can do something good for the benefit of others, be it large or small.”

That’s a message that’s familiar to our Jewish community.

In recent weeks, local synagogues have been collecting food that federation volunteers will sort and pack on Sunday afternoon. If you haven’t given, it’s not too late to bring a donation to the federation offices – 50 Eisenhower Drive in Paramus – around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Yes, it may be cold and gray, and it might even snow.

But remember: When it comes to good deeds – to mitzvot – the heart you warm may be your own. – L.Y.