Shai Bernstein's Bar Mitzvah Project

In preparation for my Bar Mitzvah, I am raising money for the Weekend Food Backpack Program run by the Gifts of Love organization through this GoFundMe page.

The cost of a weekend backpack full of food for the year for one child and his/her family is $500. I am raising money to distribute as many weekend backpacks to as many children as possible.

Please make a donation to the Gifts of Love organization in honor of my Bar Mitzvah.

I learned that one in four children in Connecticut live in families where their parents work, but they still struggle to afford the basics, including food and medicine.

The Gifts of Love organization looks out for families who do not have enough money for food, clothing and other basic needs. It's great that our government provides assistance to poor families in many different ways, though, It's sad that there a so many poor people in our country that about one third of people who don’t have enough money for food and other basic needs can't get help from the government because there just isn't enough money to assist everyone who needs it. These people have too much money according the the rules for getting assistance. Did you know that in Connecticut, a family of four earning more than $41,347 can’t get federal assistance for food.

The Gifts of Love organization helps people who are experiencing a short-term financial crisis for lots of different reasons. It could be that their job is paying them less or that they got sick and can’t work. Or maybe they had a significant unexpected increase in expenses.  By helping these people during their hard times by giving them their most basic needs the Gifts of Love organization is making it easier for them to make things better for themselves and their families.

The organization gives these families free food, clothing, furniture and housewares. They also teach families how you can maintain a nutritious diet even on a limited income. Most of the fruits and vegetables that they give away are grown on their own farm in Simsbury, CT.

It was especially surprising to me to learn that  41 percent of poor families with school-aged children in Hartford are hungry most of the time and another 35 percent are in situations where they are at risk of being hungry soon. This has become a problem in towns outside of Hartford too. I want to help the Gifts of Love organization and other organizations that help people with basic needs not only because it’s a mitzvah but also because I am really grateful to God that my family is able to provide everything that I need.

The Gifts of Love organization offers many programs at no charge to struggling individuals and families.

The Weekend Food Backpack Program distributes backpacks to nearly 200 students receiving free or reduced cost lunch in need in Avon, Canton, Farmington, Simsbury and West Hartford with easy-to-prepare meals and drinks for the family for the weekend and snacks for the student for the week.  Students receive their backpacks from their schools on Fridays and return them to their schools on Mondays. In 2017 the Gifts of Love organization distributed 802 Weekend Food Backpacks.

Donations (0)


  • Shoshana Blum 
    • $18 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $35 
    • 9 d
  • Ellen Bernstein 
    • $18 
    • 10 d
  • Cory and Aviva Lebson 
    • $36 
    • 15 d
  • Shayne Green Kesler 
    • $50 
    • 23 d

Organizer 


Yeshaiah Bernstein 
Organizer
West Hartford, CT
Farm To Family Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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