Remembering sacrifice while fighting a war on hunger


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On this Memorial Day, as we honor those who paid with their lives for the price of freedom, others among us are fighting the war on hunger.

The faithful at Ohef Sholom Temple in Ghent have not been able to feed hungry residents during the battle with COVID-19, until now. 

Holly Hogan is an operations specialist in the U.S. Navy. On this day set aside to remember those who didn’t come back from war, she’s helping Norfolk’s Jewish community.

“That’s one of the things I like about working here. It’s very authentic. They get the best that we can give them,” Hogan said. 

Ohef Sholom has had to shutter its monthly soup kitchen, which for 10 years has fed the area’s hungry. They had no choice because of the pandemic. 

But now, they’ve set up a streamlined operation outside. Just like local restaurants, this bastion of bounty has pivoted to a “grab-and-go” format. The idea came after Ohef Sholom recently provided meals for health care workers at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. 

“And then we starting thinking, wait, the nurses that helped us at the soup kitchen, how come we’re not doing a soup kitchen? And Dorianne came up with this fantastic idea to do a pop-up grab-and-go,” said Carol Brum, who oversees the temple’s Love they Neighbor initiative. 

Dorianne Villani is the director of this operation, which is getting help from the local military population.

“We just really appreciate our partnership with the military. When they come in, I just take a sigh of relief, because I know everything is going to go great,” says Villani.

It’s going great for Hogan, who has been helping there for nearly three years. She’s found that service to others can be infectious among her shipmates.

“And typically, when it comes time to come to the soup kitchen, we almost have to draw straws, because like we can never all come, but everybody seems to want to,” she said. 

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