Essen-tials, Kosher Food Program

ESSEN-tials is a Kosher Food Distribution Food Project of Jewish Family Service and Rachel’s Table

In collaboration with Rachel’s Table of Western Massachusetts, the main food rescue and hunger alleviation organization in the region, Jewish Family Service provides kosher food multiple times a year to individuals and families in our community who experience food insecurity or limited access. In a recent study conducted by The Weinberg Foundation, they found the percentage of Jewish households earning less than $30,000 is between 16% and 20%, with 7% earning less than $15,000, and that Jewish poverty is concentrated among older adults, Hasidic Jews, individuals with less education, and those working just part time, as well as in Holocaust survivor communities.

People who observe kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws, cannot depend on food pantries to meet their needs. ESSEN-tials provides special items appropriate for the seasonal holidays, kosher meat and chicken, produce and other non-perishable kosher items.

For questions, referrals or if you would like to receive kosher food, please contact Cathy Chandler, email or call 413-737-2601.

All information is kept strictly confidential.

       About Rachel’s Table

Rachel’s Table of Western Massachusetts (RTWM) is a grassroot, volunteer-driven hunger alleviation organization. RTWM was founded as the food rescue and recovery program of the Jewish Federation of Western Mass in 1992 and became an independent non-profit in July 2023. Through our four programs (rescue, purchase, glean, and grow), we provide holistic solutions to 65+ partner agencies and networks across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties. Our programs provide food to people in need as well as directly support food insecure communities to plan, plant, and harvest their own food. Our operations are powered by over 300 volunteers, including teen leaders who encourage their peers to educate themselves, serve others, and advocate for change. RTWM targets both immediate hunger crises and root causes of hunger, working to feed and nourish Western MA one delivery, one glean, one garden at a time. For more information on how to volunteer or donate, visit