The Ministry of Welfare and Social Security announced last week that it has allocated 22 million shekels ($5.8 million) to help non-profit organizations distribute food to needy families as Israel enters a period of numerous Jewish holidays including Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.
These funds will be divided among 115 charity and nonprofit associations, which will distribute over 200,000 aid packages and one million food stamps to 1.2 million households. In addition, 26,000 families eligible to participate in the food security program will receive 500 shekels ($132), and 50,000 hot meals will be handed out to needy families as part of the Home Food and Supply Frameworks project.
This government boost to food aid charities and nonprofits is in addition to the food security budget. Specifically aimed at providing for holiday seasons in the upcoming Jewish year, and mostly likely will extend to cover the Muslim celebration of Ramadan.
Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs, Ya’akov Margi, announced the allocation during his visit to the anti-poverty nonprofits ‘Pitchon Lev’ in Rishon LeZion and ‘Chasdei Naomi’ in Tel Aviv, where food baskets are packed for distribution to aid recipients ahead of the High Holidays to about 176,000 families.
"Just before we all get together in the warm company of our families during the High Holidays, it is important that we remember that there are many citizens in the country for whom the holiday period brings social and personal difficulties, and we are obliged to reach out and help," said the minister.
"The issue of food security and care for the weak is at the forefront of our minds, we allocated approximately 22 million shekels to support food aid associations during the High Holidays, we opened our nursing homes to accommodate single citizens on the holidays free of charge. Our commitment as the Ministry of Welfare is that during the holidays no person in the State of Israel will be without a holiday meal and without social support."
The CEO of ‘Pitchon Lev’, Eli Cohen, thanked Minister Margi for the visit.
"Thank you to the minister who came to see up close the packaging of the food baskets, which are the first step in a multidimensional process which the organization is leading to break the cycle of poverty in Israel. The support of the ministry in our activities is important and I am hopeful that today's visit will result in continued fruitful cooperation for the disadvantaged populations in Israel and their removal from the cycle of poverty."
The chairman of ‘Chasdei Naomi’, Rabbi Yosef Cohen, also thanked the minister, noting that he and the association's management team "appreciate the activity of the minister and the ministry for the needy in Israel. Every action and push of the minister with us results in more food for a needy family and more aid for Holocaust survivors.”
This article was translated from Hebrew by Hannah Blount.