Yad Aharon & Michael is proudly independent

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From its humble beginnings more than 20 years ago, Yad Aharon & Michael has grown into the respected nongovernmental organisation it is today and has remained independent of other such agencies.
by ALICE FRIEDMAN | Mar 01, 2018

We’ve grown exponentially in our mission to provide needy Jewish families in Johannesburg with weekly, fresh produce food hampers, all the while retaining the compassion and respect we’ve always shown to our clients.

With the multitude of charity organisations in Johannesburg “fishing from the same pond”, this journey has been challenging, yet we have unconditionally upheld our mandate and our pledge to the poor.

Our weekly food parcels remain our flagship project, but over time, the persistent nutritional insecurity within our community has resulted in further assistance having to be rendered.

To this end, Yad Aharon & Michael introduced additional projects, namely:

  • “Ohr Natanel” for school lunches;
  • The establishment of an in-house supermarket. Its shelves are stocked by “Chesed from the Garden of Eden”;
  • “Chickens for Shabbos” to ensure Oneg Shabbos; and
  • “Yad’s Soup for the Soul”, which provides a safe haven for the lonely and the hungry to come and enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal in a congenial atmosphere.

Yad Aharon & Michael comprises a cohesive team who remain ever thankful to our donors for their support. These attributes have helped to ensure that we remain specialists in our line of business: food.

As the organisation’s managing director, I have noted misconceptions that have arisen about Yad Aharon & Michael within our community and would like to address them here. Firstly, bear in mind that Yad Aharon pays for the entire contents of our food parcels, with the exception of the donated “extras” from bakeries, delis and kosher supermarkets.

Donors’ concerns that recipients may get food parcels from both Yad Aharon and the Chevrah Kadisha, resulting in the “doubling up” of services, are valid. However, the Chev’s recent policy of referring anyone needing food assistance to Yad Aharon has gained our full support and, in the case of a family receiving parcels from both sources, they are made to choose one service provider – except for Pesach and Rosh Hashanah, whereby some recipients receive Yom Tov hampers from both sources. I reiterate the fact that Yad Aharon operates independently of the Chev and every other charity organisation.

Having said that, it bears acknowledging that each Jewish organisation fulfils a unique and vital role within our community. Yad Aharon & Michael’s mission to provide food and nutrition to those in need is wholly dependent on your support and, together, we will succeed at providing this basic human right.  


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