(l-r) Samuel Felberbaum, Mike Finfer, GRACE Food Pantry Manager Marcus Miranda, GRACE CEO Shonda Schaefer, Barry Klompus, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and members of Congregation Beth Israel visited the GRACE Food Pantry this week with a wonderful gift: more than $3,200, including a single gift of $1,000 from a Coppell family.

The Congregation had invited GRACE CEO Shonda Schaefer to a virtual meeting in early October. The congregants heard about the massive volume of clients coming to GRACE in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Unaudited statistics from the 2020 fiscal year (ending August 31) indicate more than 11,000 unduplicated clients turned to GRACE for support. In previous years, that number of individuals ranged around 5,000.

Nearly to a person, these clients needed support from the GRACE Food Pantry. Throughout the pandemic GRACE has been focused on providing food, shelter or sheltering assistance, client services, senior care, children’s care, and, of course, healthcare and treatment through the GRACE Community Clinic.

Many Beth Israel congregants expressed the needs they have witnessed in their communities. Topics ranged from hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence to GRACE collaborations with other agencies, corporate, public organizations, and religious groups.

Beth Israel leaders Barry Klompus, Mike Finfer, and Samuel Felberbaum helped drive enthusiasm for a campaign to fund the Food Pantry. All are very involved with the annual CBI Brotherhood casino night event to benefit GRACE and other agencies.

GRACE has been a beneficiary of casino night since its beginning eight years ago. Mr. Felberbaum, one of the casino night originators, said the Brotherhood is meeting this week to determine the direction of the 2021 event. The casino night is usually held in the second week of January.

Many thanks to all of our wonderful friends at Beth Israel! For more information about the GRACE Food Pantry, contact Marcus Miranda at 817-305-4677.