Biking Fundraiser to Benefit Area Meals on Wheels Program
North Jersey teen spearheads Sunday event for Teaneck’s Jewish Family Service
A North Jersey teen has combined his passion for biking with his passion for helping others.
For the last three years, 16-year-old David Feuerstein, of Alpine, has been a volunteer for Teaneck’s Jewish Family Service (JFS). He began working with the organization when he tagged along with his mother Shira, who served as a driver for JFS’s Kosher Meals on Wheels program.
During this same three-year period, Feuerstein also developed his biking skills.
“My dad bikes a lot, and he got me into it,” said Feuerstein, who’s a 10th-grader at Horace Mann School in the Bronx. “I love biking and have been involved with 10 to 15 biking charities so far.”
Feuerstein said he wanted to help JFS in another way, so he suggested that the organization do a biking fundraiser to raise money for their Meals on Wheels program, which provides more than 23,000 meals annually to residents in Bergen and north Hudson counties.
“It’s a great cause, and it’s a great feeling that getting people together for a bike ride can help the community,” he said.
A REAL BLESSING
Yvonne Frydel of Tenafly said she’s grateful for the hot meals personally delivered to her.
The 79-year-old Holocaust survivor has been receiving the Meals on Wheels service since June, when she returned home from emergency gall bladder surgery.
“Upon returning from the hospital, I called Jewish Family Service to inquire about the Kosher Meals on Wheels,” she said. “They said they would be happy to deliver to me. The volunteers who come every day are reliable, friendly, and just magnificent.”
Frydel detailed how complete and nutritional the meals are, saying they include a vegetable, a starch and meat or fish. In addition, meal recipients receive a bag filled with fruit, bread, margarine, napkins, flatware and milk.
“The food is more than enough for me,” Frydel said. “I eat the hot meal for lunch and enjoy the fruit for a snack. Then I eat the rest for a light dinner.”
Frydel said not having to cook has been a blessing for her because she is battling liver cancer and suffers from diabetes. “I have so much to do for my treatment and medication,” she said. “These meals teach how to control my eating.”
She hopes more seniors contact JFS to take advantage of their services.
“When you’re not well and weak, with this service (Meals on Wheels), you can relax,” she said. “Also, JFS helped me to save hundreds of dollars on my prescriptions by giving me information on medication programs. The JFS is a wonderful organization; they do so much to help.”
A TRADITION OF SERVICE
JFS Executive Director Lisa Fedder said the multi-service organization assists people in birth to end-of-life issues.
“We’re based on Jewish tradition of values, such as raising healthy families, keeping our elders safe, and keeping a vital community,” she said. “We serve everyone from all religions.”
JFS has been involved in the Meals on Wheels program since 1979. The way JFS runs their program is by delivering one hot meal a day, five days a week, to people’s homes. There are about 200 people who receive meals, but some choose not to receive their meals every day.
“The Jewish Home at Rockleigh drops off the meals at our organization by 10:30/11 a.m., and by noon our drivers will have delivered the meals,” Fedder said.
JFS serves about 3,000 people in Bergen and north Hudson counties, and assists 275 Teaneck residents.
“We help many people outside of our community,” Fedder said. “If we can’t specifically meet their needs, we will put them in touch with other groups and organizations that can assist them.”
JFS offers clinical services, information referrals, individual and family counseling, job-finding assistance, and the group works with refugees.
Fedder said JFS volunteers, such as Feuerstein, are a real asset to their organization.
“David is a real role model for teenagers,” she said. “He’s an amazing, articulate and self-confident young man who is interested in making a difference in the world. He has wonderful parents for whom he takes after. He gives back to the community and is just such a great guy.”
'WHEELS FOR MEALS' FUNDRAISER
The "Wheels for Meals" fundraiser kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh. Cyclists of all levels and ages can ride at their own pace on three routes:
- Advanced Cyclists: 50-mile route that starts at 8 a.m. or 25-mile route that starts at 9 a.m.
- Families: 10-mile route that starts at 10 a.m. or 3-mile route that starts at 10:30 a.m.
- Toddlers: On-site course that starts at 11 a.m.
At noon, closing remarks will be made to thank riders and to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins at sundown on May 1. The day’s events conclude at 12:30 p.m.
Registrations fees are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Participants are asked to raise $180, which covers the cost of one month of meals for a Meals on Wheels recipient.