MESH Report Mar 31, 2020


Many thanks to Shirley and David Grill for contributing 30 takeaway meals for our MESH guests this past Tuesday evening.  The bags were prepared by the Watchung Deli and included: 27 Turkey on Rye, 3 Vegetarian Sandwiches, chips, cookies and a water bottle.  The deli delivered the sandwiches to Karen Altman, who included a note in each bag with the menu and a message from Shomrei to stay safe, healthy and to follow social distancing!  Karen brought the meals to the Salvation Army driveway where the MESH Staff removed them from her trunk and distributed them to the MESH guests who were already lined up.  Many thanks to Karen! 

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Message from MESH Co-Chairs

Dear MESH Volunteers:
As of Tuesday, 3/24/20, the MESH Staff is now distributing Grab and Go Meals from the parking lot of the Salvation Army on Trinity Place in Montclair.  Shomrei will continue to provide 30 meal bags on Tuesdays.
We’ve had an amazing response from the Shomrei community in terms of volunteers and very generous financial support.  The SignUp has been adjusted to an extent to accommodate the record keeping of our new process. If you are interested in Captaining (coordinating/preparing/purchasing) for an upcoming Tuesday please email me (email hidden; JavaScript is required) or Aileen (email hidden; JavaScript is required) and we will put you on the schedule and guide you through the process.
Healthy regards,
Lynne and Aileen


Shomrei guidelines for MESH takeaway meals.

Thank you for volunteering to prepare the takeaway meals for the Carol Starr MESH Cafe during this health crisis.

We are determined to continue to feed our food insecure guests until we are told we cannot for reasons of safety.

Here are basic guidelines for what should go into a meal bag. We want to be relatively consistent no matter who is preparing just as we are when times are normal.

At Shomrei we have packets of condiments, some water bottles, prepackaged desserts (like cookies), bags, small containers for dressings or sauces.etc. Let us know if you need these items and we will give them to you as long as we are allowed in the building.

One of the most important things to remember is that the food should be nutritious, easy to eat, and not require real cutting as many of the guests may have no place to sit down.

Each of the 30 meals should consist of

  • a bag, 2 napkins, appropriate cutlery
  • a protein which can be a sandwich or other easy to eat food, depending upon how ambitious you are. If a sandwich, garnish it appropriately: lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc. We have packets of salt, pepper. mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise at Shomrei.
  • a salad or vegetable , for example, coleslaw, tossed salad, crudités
  • a beverage such as water
  • a dessert such as cookies
  • fruit that is easy to eat.

Please provide 3 vegetarian option meals if possible as we usually have some true vegetarians.

You may do a starter if you wish, but it is not necessary. We are streaming the meal to make it easier to prepare.

Depending on the  meal you prepare, you may want to add a small bag of chips or some other snack.

You might want to include a nutrition bar, but it is not necessary. Some of our cooks send guests home with one so that they have a snack or even breakfast the next day.

Please contact Lynne or Aileen if you have any questions.

And again THANK YOU for stepping up in these unsettled times.

Lynne Kurzweil and Aileen Grossberg

Email Lynne Kurzweil or call (973)746-0816
Email Aileen Grossberg or call (973) 744-3836



About MESH:

The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches.  Volunteers at each institution cook and serve hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. A good meal, and perhaps as important, social interaction and companionship offer respite to those who need it. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering.

To sign up to help, go to

Have questions?

Email Lynne Kurzweil or call (973)746-0816
Email Aileen Grossberg or call (973) 744-3836

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