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News | April 21, 2016

DLA Troop Support helps Jewish service members celebrate Passover

By Alexandra Siemiatkowski DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

Jewish military members around the world can have a traditional Seder and keep kosher during Passover, thanks to the Defense Logistics Agency.

DLA Troop Support’s Subsistence supply chain provided more than 930 cases of Passover Meals, Ready to Eat to locations in Guam, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Qatar, Germany and Korea, as well as bases in the United States, said Deborah Sinno, Subsistence customer account specialist.

“When you are away from your family and possibly in harm's way, religion can be a great source of comfort,” said Stephen Granato, a Subsistence acquisition specialist. “The opportunity to practice your beliefs, including through observance of dietary practices, is important to contribute to a sense of well-being.”      

The Clothing and Textiles supply chain also provided religious items not easily found, said Joseph Roshinko, C&T customer account specialist.

More than 180 Seder kits, containing items needed to observe the first two nights of Passover, were delivered to service members. The kits include food and ceremonial items: plates, grape-juice boxes, crackers, shank bones and more.

Passover begins at sunset April 22 and continues to April 30. Subsistence began preparing its Passover support in early November by working with the services to determine how many Kosher for Passover MREs they will need.

The Kosher for Passover MREs differ from the traditional Kosher MREs in that the meals are blessed by a rabbi and the manufacturing plant is shut down and prepared to produce Passover-specific meals.  

DLA has been providing the Passover MREs for nearly a decade, said Sinno. Subsistence helps ensure that service members in training and deployed, even in remote locations, have kosher meals for Passover.

Those observing Passover receive two cases of MREs, which equal the full complement of three meals a day for the eight-day observance.  

Each case contains 12 different meals, with items like chicken, beef stew, salmon and gefilte fish, Granato said. They also contain matzo crackers, dried fruits, nuts, cookies, coffee and tea.