Boy Makes Mask Aids To Help Jewish Family Services Food Pantry

Sep 03, 2020 07:42 AM EDT | By Madelaine D. (

A boy is doing mask aids to help feed hundreds of people in Kansas facing food insecurity.

Jonah Stein, a seventh-grader, is a social entrepreneur at a young age. The student is doing a service project for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah to help feed people who are experiencing food insecurity in Kansas city. 

Jonah created what he called MASKerAIDS, a beaded necklace connected to the mask to make it easier to wear. As usual, you can wear the mask and conveniently pull it down when you don't need to wear it. The MASKerAIDS can also be stored comfortably and fashionably out of the way.

A Boy Makes Mask Aids To Help Jewish Family Services Food Pantry
(Photo : JFSKC website)
A boy is doing a mask aids to help feed hundreds of people in Kansas facing food insecurity.

According to Broadway World, Jonah gave a great idea to his Bar Mitzvah project. His parents, Josh and Sheryl Stein, are helping him for his project. Besides, the family has been volunteers for the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry. Jonah's MASKerAIDS was inspired by the time he served the human service agency. 

The Leawood Middle School seventh-grade student said that when he thinks  about the cause to support, he chose Jewish Family Service because he loved to volunteer at the food pantry and see the volunteers' great work.

 "I saw a same product, and the wheels started turning about what I could do. Creating MASKerAIDs allows me not only to solve a modern-day challenge, but to use the funds I earn from the sales to help JFS and its Kesher KC Care Bag program," Jonah added.

Kesher KC bags are the extension of the Jewish Family Services' food pantry. Each bag has food for a day that is ready to heat, serve, and eat. The bags come with items that most of the recipients enjoy like vegetables, fruits, and meats. Also, the bags include guides to the other resources throughout the community. JFS Food Pantry walk-in clients can receive Kesher KC bags, and the public may also purchase them to distribute to others who they know are homeless or experiencing food insecurity.

The Kesher KC bag program is also connected with Jonah. The young man said that he felt like he played a role in getting it off the ground. The boy also shared that he saw the same program in Minneapolis when he and his family attend a funeral. 

Jonah said, "I thought it was a great idea, so I share it with Taly (Friedman) at JFS and discovered they were exploring similar ideas, and it launched soon after." Through a family event with J-LEAD, the young entrepreneur also made an effort to make the initial Kesher KC bags. The J-LEAD is a program of the Jewish Community Foundation where Jonah's father is the director of philanthropy.

According to Taly Friedman, JFS Director of Volunteer Engagement, Jonah is passionate regarding the Kesher KC bag program since it even came to be. The boy also approached Friedman about the idea about the program on the JFS side. 

"It's been incredible to see how he has grown since his initial idea, from volunteering to put the bags together to now creating the MASKerAID project, which fulfills an important need all while supporting the Kesher bag project," Friedman added. 

The MASKerAIDS cost $15 each and available in a variety of colors and designs. The Stein team, which includes Jonah, his parents, siblings, and even his grandmother, can make custom designs for MASKerAIDS. The team has made about 200 MASKerAIDS to meet the growing demand. The mask aids are being sold through a website that Jonah and his father created to have broader and easy access from a JFS website page. 

The boy already surpassed the initial fundraising goal of $3,600 and sold masks to people in fourteen different states in just three weeks of MASKerAIDS in the market. 

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