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 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 utilize 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 Refugee Rides.
Volunteer drivers for Refugee Rides 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.
For more information on Refugee Rides or if you would like to help with monthly food deliveries or host a food drive to support refugee families, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone from the volunteer department will be in touch to discuss current volunteer opportunities.
Online Refugee Rides database generously sponsored by
Food & Paper Goods: The below items are what fill a typical food box for JVS refugee families. The need for these items is on an ongoing basis and JFS welcomes partners or individuals hosting food drives. Just let us know your interest and we will help you get started!
- Dried beans (red, black or garbanzo)
- Canned carrots
- Canned peas
- Canned coconut milk
- Dried rice
- Toilet paper
- 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.