Two of the greatest areas of need for newly settled refugees are food and transportation. To help meet these needs, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and Jewish Family Services (JFS) formed a new partnership to improve the lives of these families.
While few new refugee arrivals are anticipated this year due to changes in U.S. policy, refugee families already in Kansas City need on-going help. The U.S. government only provides families with financial assistance for a brief three-month period when they receive financial support. Last year alone, JVS resettled almost 600 refugees from 14 different countries.
JFS and JVS are recruiting volunteers to deliver monthly food packages to refugee families under the direction of the JFS food pantry, and drive refugee families to important appointments through a newly formed partnership Refugee Rides.
Volunteer drivers for Refugee Rides will provide transportation to appointments at JVS or other locations in the city to help refugees access needed services and adjust to life in Kansas City. Volunteers are needed Monday – Friday during typical business hours. Refugees resettled by JVS live mostly in the historic northeast neighborhood of KC. Volunteers will use an online system to sign up for rides convenient with their schedule.
Two volunteer training sessions will be held for those interested in providing rides:
March 16, 5:30-7:00 pm at JVS, 4600 The Paseo
March 20, 10:00-11:30 am at JFS, 425 E. 63rd Street
Sign up for a volunteer training session to learn how to use the on-line system to get alerts when rides are needed and sign up for a refugee ride!
For more information on Refugee Rides or if you would like to help with monthly food deliveries to refugee families, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Refugee Rides database generously sponsored by
Food & Paper Goods: The below items are needed to fill food boxes for JVS refugee families. These initial quantities will support the program for the first two months. Additional donations will be needed on an ongoing basis.
- Dried beans (red, black or garbanzo) – 250 bags
- Canned carrots – 250 cans
- Canned peas – 250 cans
- Toilet paper – 80 12-packs
- Dried spices
Donations can be dropped in Food Pantry barrels located at JVS, 4600 The Paseo in KCMO, JFS Brookside East at 425 E. 63rd Street and JFS at The J. See location maps.
Monetary Donations: Support food boxes for refugee families in Kansas City with a monetary donation of any amount. Please mark “Other” in the donation dropdown menu and note “Refugee Food Assistance” in the text box. Go to donation page now.
Read about the partnership announcement in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle.
Visit Jewish Vocational Services Refugees Welcome on their website to learn more about resettlement efforts in Kansas City and other ways to volunteer or support JVS.