Bedside Kosher, the charity providing free, fresh Kosher meals to Jewish hospital patients in the UK, has announced an appeal to the public for donations via a crowdfunding campaign.
The Life Line campaign will take place on 5th – 6th May and will focus on raising funds to support these critical services.
Jewish patients, who are required by religious law to live off a purely Kosher diet, are expected to live and recover on two defrosted meals per day from a limited menu. With no kosher option for breakfast and no kosher snacks, that means Jewish patients miss out on an entire meal and vital nutrition when they need all the sustenance they can get.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when relatives were no longer allowed into hospitals to visit their loved ones, relatives couldn’t even supplement these hospital diets with cultural foods brought in from home.
The catering suppliers to the NHS currently provide for hundreds of thousands of people every year. They offer full and varied menus for those who are diabetic, lactose intolerant, vegan and vegetarian, yet when it comes to cultural foods, such as Kosher and Halal, there is still much work to be done.
This is why Bedside Kosher exists. They provide free fresh Kosher meals, snacks and drinks to Jewish patients throughout the UK. In addition to this, they are also working with the NHS on their hospital food review committee, to provide expertise and recommendations on how they can improve their cultural menu.
It currently costs Bedside Kosher approximately £650,000 a year to deliver the service, and with demand from all parts of the community increasing every day, the charity expects this to rise over the coming year.
Patients and visitors who request the service via a 24/7 patient care line currently receive:
- Fresh Breakfast and Dinner every day.
- Shabbat and Yom Tov Meals, including grape juice and challah
- Special diets are catered for
- Kids menu
Ari Feferkon, Chairman of Bedside Kosher, said: “Over the last 12 months, the success of Bedside Kosher has shone a spotlight on the limitations of cultural food provisions for NHS patients.
“It is my intention to continue to campaign, lobby the government and engage with NHS Trusts until all Jewish patients throughout the UK can receive the kind of fresh, healthy diet that they need to maximise their chance of recovering from illness and injury.
“I appreciate it is an ambitious goal, but it is one that is important, and we are already well on the way to achieving it. Until then, we need the help and support of the wider community, so we can continue to take orders and keep delivering to those who require our services.”
Every donation, of any size, will go towards funding vital activity: from sponsoring meals for one day to training for NHS staff.
If you are interested and would like to register your interest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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