Looking for an impactful, low-stress way to fulfill the mitzvah of matanot la’evyonim (gifts to the poor) this Purim? Consider Yad Chessed in Waltham. The social services agency plays a vital role in addressing Jewish poverty throughout Greater Boston, and its mission is more important than ever.

“The needs in our community are increasing significantly. Inquiries for assistance and intakes have doubled since last year, and the increased cost of living is making it that much harder for people to make ends meet,” says executive director Nancy Kriegel.

Yad Chessed is aptly named: it means “hand of loving kindness.” The organization launched in 1989 to help Jewish families and individuals in need by providing emergency financial assistance for needs such as food, clothing, shelter and utilities. It currently works with roughly 2,000 people in the area, and its work ramps up at Purim.

“In the weeks leading up to Purim, Yad Chessed reaches out to rabbis, community leaders, synagogues and schools to connect with people who are facing financial hardship. Any Jewish community member who is struggling can receive a Purim food voucher, as well as individuals and families who currently receive year-round support from Yad Chessed,” Kriegel explains.

Before Purim begins, Yad Chessed sends more than 1,500 kosher market vouchers to families in need. The vouchers activate on Purim, with the value based on community-raised funds. On Purim, Yad Chessed calculates total funds (including pledges received by 11 a.m.) and notifies kosher markets of voucher values. Recipients can use vouchers for food starting at 1 p.m. on Purim or exchange them for grocery store gift cards. The more funds Yad Chessed raises, the more each food voucher is worth.

Donate here. And if you or someone you know needs help, visit Yad Chessed’s intake form.