Month of Mitzvahs: South Hampstead pupils support JW3’s foodbank
- Credit: Yakir Zur
The pupils of South Hampstead High School had a special Mitzvah morning on Tuesday, doing small acts of kindness to help others.
The school has taken part in Mitzvah Day for many years, winning the charity’s Outstanding Youth Mitzvah Day Award last year and this time teamed up with JW3, the Jewish community and arts centre in Finchley Road.
JW3 runs a foodbank which delivers weekly food parcels – containing both fresh and ambient products – to more than 150 families in need in the local area. It is an official food supplier for Camden Council.
As part of this year’s Month of Mitzvahs, students and staff South Hampstead High ran a collection for the JW3 foodbank and created hundreds of uplifting, cheerful greeting cards to go out with food parcels.
Mitzvah Day founder Laura Marks OBE, a former pupil at the school, delivered a video message thanking everyone for their hard work and telling them more about this year’s special Month of Mitzvahs.
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Headmistress of South Hampstead High School Vicky Bingham said: “Mitzvah Day is a fantastic opportunity for the whole school to engage with the local community – one of the many initiatives that help to foster a culture of kindness at South Hampstead. It is wonderful to see such enthusiasm from the students supporting JW3’s food bank and helping to tackle food poverty.”
Mitzvah Day, the UK’s biggest faith-based day of social action, is planning a Month of Mitzvahs throughout November to focus on food poverty and loneliness.
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The planned month continues the #EveryMitzvahMatters interfaith volunteering scheme that Mitzvah Day launched during the last lockdown in order to highlight how even the smallest every day acts of kindness can be transformative for both the receiver and the giver.
Laura Marks said: “Whilst we normally look forward to the activities and excitement of Mitzvah Day, this year we realised we need to do more. With food poverty and loneliness hitting record levels in our pandemic and pain-stricken world, not only does Every Mitzvah Matter – it’s vital.
“I am overwhelmed by how many acts of kindness are taking place to address these crises and am excited to highlight the generous, thoughtful and targeted volunteering, across faiths and backgrounds, taking place during this month of lockdown and, importantly, of Mitzvahs.”
More than 150 faith communities, organisations and businesses will be taking part in the month of Mitzvahs, along with 40 schools from across the country.
Many will be collecting for their local foodbanks. During the last lockdown the demands on foodbanks increased exponentially and they are sure to do so again this time, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
Another project will be checking in on isolated neighbours, family members or care home residents.
Mitzvah Day has worked alongside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure all activities follow government guidelines.