Jewish Family & Children’s Service Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry Turns Home Gardens into Healthy Options for its Clients


Sometimes the best ideas are so simple one wonders why no one thought of them before. It really was a “no-brainer” for Laura Silver, step daughter of the late Harvey Kornblum for whom the Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) food pantry was named. “I had too much and thought wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could take it to a place where people who really needed it could go and get it.”

This simple plan is the backbone for the Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s wonderful new program, “Share the Harvest” which adds fresh produce to support and supplement the canned and packaged goods distributed at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Panty.

Through this program, backyard gardeners throughout the community are encouraged to donate the overages of produce that they can’t use themselves. “I had this enormous surplus,” recalls Silver. After giving some away to friends, teachers and others in the community, she still had a lot left over.

With 6 year-old twins, who were so enthusiastic to pick out, plant and grow vegetables, Silver brought home lots of vegetable plants that  she later found out her children had no intention of eating. “I think they picked some just because they liked the colors.” The children had a great time choosing all sorts of vegetables to plant and love growing them. “But there were just too many for us”

Silver also rounded up friends with similar leftovers to do the same. Now her brainstorm has taken root and JF&CS is taking it to the community at large.

“Adding fresh food to the distribution is a real plus for our clients,” says Executive Director, Louis Albert. “Everyone deserves to have healthy meals even during the low points in their lives. We are not even sure if any other pantry provides these types of foods.”

Produce drop-off times are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the JF&CS Allan R. Hoffman Building 10950 Schuetz Road, Creve Coeur. Or call Susan Rundblad Program Coordinator- Community Outreach Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, 314-812-9307 srundblad@jfcs-stl.org  for other drop off arrangements. All products should be fresh, undamaged homegrown fruits or vegetables. A good rule of thumb for donors to keep in mind is to bring only foods that would be acceptable for their own family’s consumption. Donors, of course, may continue to bring all other kinds of products along with fresh produce. All unopened, unexpired non-glass container items are accepted.