Across the globe this month Jewish communities are celebrating the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. Many choose to commemorate the “New Year of The Trees” by planting pine trees in Israel. Tu B’Shevat is a day that deals directly with the social inequality of our food system. It’s a holiday that can inspire us to think about building community food security. Why not plant fruit trees right here in Los Angeles to grow more food?
Traditionally, the holiday season is a time to think about others. This year, several events focused on the continuing need to address social issues, especially feeding the hungry and appreciating veterans.
In 1989, Mollie Pier co-founded Project Chicken Soup (PCS), a nonprofit organization that makes and delivers free kosher food to Angelenos living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. Today, at 92, she still volunteers, spending eight hours a month in the kitchen and calling recipients when their meals are ready.
Several days before Mollie Pier’s son, Nathaniel, died of complications from AIDS, she joined together with his doctors, Nathaniel and his longtime partner, Michael, as the couple exchanged rings and vows in his hospital room.
The food pantry would not open for another 40 minutes, but already about a dozen people were waiting in the parking lot, many holding umbrellas to shield themselves from the blistering San Fernando Valley sun
The notes are short, direct and never signed. They come from all over Los Angeles, from the South Los Angeles tenements to the San Fernando Valley suburbs. Their authors differ in age, ethnicity and religion, but have at least one thing in common: They all live with HIV/AIDS.
Their gratitude is directed at Project Chicken Soup, an L.A.-based nonprofit whose volunteers gather twice a month to cook nutritious, kosher meals and deliver them, free of charge, to the doors of clients across the city.
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor.
Bob S. insists that his mother back in Virginia made the best chicken soup ever, but he's willing to admit the homemade version delivered to his Van Nuys apartment is a close second.
The delivery is part of the mission of Project Chicken Soup, an all-volunteer group that cooks, packages and personally delivers kosher meals twice a month to patients living with HIV and AIDS. It might be a chicken breast or a casserole, along with the soup, salad, fruit, dessert or even a protein drink.
When I'm 79, I want to be Mollie Pier.