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Jewish Federation COVID-19 Relief Helps Power JFCS Through the Pandemic

Jewish Family and Community Services thanks the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh for strategic leadership and financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. As JFCS worked on multiple fronts to help families ravaged by pandemic effects, the Federation was there at every step, helping JFCS provide vital services.

Each year the Federation provides unrestricted operating support to JFCS. Since the beginning of the pandemic, in addition to operating support, the Federation gave JFCS $426,650 to address pandemic-related needs.

Increased community need made increased JFCS staffing a priority. With the Federation’s help, JFCS hired two caseworkers and an interpreter to help the newly unemployed file for benefits and a career-development counselor to help find employment for people who never expected to be looking for work. Federation funds allowed JFCS to establish a community resource hotline.

The unemployment spike resulted in unprecedented demand at the JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. The Federation helped keep food on community tables, responding again and again with funding for food, Pantry staffing, and personal protective equipment. Federation funds contributed to the purchase of a van, so the Pantry could make home deliveries. With Federation support, JFCS was even able to supply challah for the High Holidays.

The pandemic resulted in a flood of applications to SOS Pittsburgh, a JFCS program that addresses individuals’ emergency financial needs. Federation funding helped avert many utilities shutoffs and housing, transportation-related and medical disasters. High-risk seniors benefited from pharmaceutical screenings through Federation support of the JFCS component of AgeWell Pittsburgh.

With Federation support, JFCS and the Pittsburgh community have faced COVID “stronger together.”