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Mommy, Can We Eat Supper Now?

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Alan Rosenstock's address to Tomche Shabbos supporters at the annual dinner on Sunday, January 11. To see the five-minute address, please click here.

 A Tomche Shabbos driver recently told me of the following incident. All drivers are supposed to pick up their boxes from the warehouse by 11:00 PM. Usually the drivers are there on time. One Thursday night, though, this particular driver was busy and came to the warehouse late. It was almost midnight when he arrived at his first stop and put the box down at the foot of the door. As he was turning to leave, he heard a child's voice at the other side of the door say: "Mommy, the box is here. Can we eat supper now?"

It's gotten increasingly difficult for these families. To give you an insight, I would like to read an e-mail recently received:

"This is the hardest thing I ever wrote. I am married with a family of four children. My husband is a rebbi and I work part time from home. But we have no money. We are severely in debt, our account is overdrawn, credit cards maxed out and I have no money to by flour and eggs or dish detergent to wash my dishes..."


Another e-mail reads:

"Tomche Shabbos was responsible for helping me get my job, and as you know, it's worked out fairly well. I have now suffered a rather serious heart attack - which required... an emergency double bypass operation...

Given that I will have to undergo a period of cardiac rehabilitation, it's become necessary for my wife to find a job. We are in desperate straits now, and I urgently need your help in securing some kind of employment for my wife. It should not take much imagination to understand how this has thrown my wife and me into total chaos. The stress alone is a potential death sentence for me.

I'm appealing to you. Please help. It's critical to our survival."


Another e-mail reads:

"My husband sent you his resume last night

and doesn't know I am sending you this email. He lost his job 2 years ago, devastating our family with five children. I have been struggling to try to pay the bills, working long hours for the last two years. We have accrued debt and are trying to stay afloat. I am really nervous and feeling overwhelmed with what's on my plate. I am the sole breadwinner, while also being a mother. We can't help but feel scared and alone in this process. Please, please, please try to help us."


Another e-mail reads:

"I know you have many things on your mind, BUT I'm on the verge of losing mine! It's been a few months since I brought any $ into the house and I'm desperate. I'm sinking quickly..."

I could read letters and e-mails for hours, but I think these few e-mails speak for all the struggling families of our community. They tell a story of struggle that we can't begin to imagine...


Tonight, when you sit down to eat dinner at a time that is convenient for you, remember those who must wait for a box of food to arrive to their door. Please remember that young child who waited until midnight so that he wouldn't go to sleep hungry. Let his pain not have been in vain and let's make sure there will always be boxes of food for children like him.