See how Akiba students baked challah for this project here.
By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP
It was a sticky but appreciated delivery that Jewish Family Service received Sept. 19.
More than 7,800 ounces (more than 60 gallons) of honey, in the form of 650 bear-shaped bottles, were donated by Nature Nate’s 100 percent Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey. The sweet treats will be given out with JFS’ holiday gift bags.
“This is a wonderful gift as we serve a vast group in our community and many are challenged with not having a grand holiday table to attend and celebrate at,” said JFS’ Executive Director Michael Fleisher. “By sharing the scents, flavors, and tastes of the holiday from our community, we are able to bring more people in to feel part of the community.”
The donation of the honey is an amazing gift to JFS, says Marilyn Wohlstadter, Food Pantry coordinator at JFS. With a tight budget but a desire to make the holiday sweeter for those she serves, she’s most ready to cuddle these bears right into the homes of the community.
“This is such a huge mitzvah — it’s really unbelievable,” said Wohlstadter, who last year made do with honey straws in the bags because of the cost.
“JFS volunteers pack up and deliver to our Meals on Wheels clients, to many elderly people who can’t get out, who often have no family nearby. The deliveries include the honey bears and apples along with a small bottle of juice and challahs, many of which were baked and donated by the students and parents and faculty of Akiba Academy.”
September’s recognition as National Honey Month fills the bill as Jews around the world are setting their tables for Rosh Hashanah, typically welcomed with apples dipped or draped in honey.
“We’re honored to donate our 100 percent pure, raw and unfiltered honey to JFS as we know they do incredible work for the greater Dallas community. Nature Nate’s is proud to provide these 650 bottles of honey to those in need right here in our community,” said Robert Turner, Nature Nate’s COO. “We wholeheartedly believe in growing our company in order to give back more and JFS does amazing things for people in need in Dallas.”
Based in McKinney, Nature Nate’s, founded by Nate Sheets, partners with commercial beekeepers who transport their hives all over the country. They follow the honey flow — when major nectar sources are in bloom and the weather is favorable for bees to fly — and collect the nectar. The company’s honey is raw, not cooked at high temperatures, and also unfiltered, as they strain only the undesirable bee parts and wax, leaving pollens intact.
Nature Nate’s product line contains Texas honey — the amount of Texas honey is dependent on the climate the previous summer — as well as honey from Northern states in the blend to give it the best color and taste.
The company’s honey is certified by the Orthodox Union and Dallas Kosher, and ripe for use beyond the traditional dip — to include in recipes of a honey-sweetened brisket, kugel, rugelach, chicken with grapes, or to step out with a grilled honey plum pizza or honey rainbow carrot salad.
“Dallas Kosher has been working with Nature Nate’s for some time and they are a wonderful team of people,” said Rabbi David Shawel, director of supervision at DK, who makes supervisory visits to the McKinney plant throughout the year.
“They walk the walk and the gifts they give to our community are just wonderful.”