Tzimmes for Sandy Victims


tzimmes-carrotsTomorrow, the Masbia soup kitchen will be giving out packages with many Yom Tov foods, including thousands of pounds of carrots to help struggling families prepare their traditional Tzimmes for Rosh Hashana. That’s not new. Masbia gives out holiday food every year.

But this year Tzimmes at Masbia has a new meaning. During Hurricane Sandy, when they had to turn around their kitchen and cook round the clock to prepare the 3,000 meals a day for victims of the Hurricane, Tzimmes became their saving grace. Going from 500 meals a day to 3,000 was no easy task. There wasn’t enough time in the day, nor the oven space, to cook their regular meals and the meals for the seniors evicted by Sandy. Every corner of the kitchen was being utilized, volunteers were streaming in by the dozens and the kitchen was operating for 18 hours of the day. But Masbia needed to catch up and make use of the remaining 5 hours of the night while staff was getting some sleep.

Tzimmes turned out to be a nutritious food that could be cooked overnight. They purchased thousands of pounds of baby carrots that needed no preparing, and each night they seasoned them and put them into the oven, 40 trays at a time for five hours straight, so that come morning, Masbia had food to serve the victims of Sandy and the ovens could be used to cook our daily meals.

A volunteer remembered one night particularly well: “My grandmother was in town, and she together with my father and my children–four generations of my family–gathered at the Masbia kitchen and prepared Tzimmes late into the night. I will never forget the experience of carrying trays of Tzimmes into the Park Slope Armory where hundreds of seniors, many of whom hadn’t showered for days, had been crammed, bringing with us the sweet smell of cinnamon.”

There were many other nights like that when together with volunteers and friends Masbia cooked late into the night to meet the demands of Hurricane Sandy. During that difficult time, Masbia made it its mission to make sure victims received fresh and nutritious food, the same mission we have all year round.

Masbia served over 20,000 meals post Hurricane Sandy. They serve 500 meals five days a week all year round.

{Noam Newscenter}


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