MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - PART I
DIGNITY FIRST AND FOOD CARDS TOPS ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AGENDA
This past week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Welfare Moshe Kachlon announced a major undertaking to feed the underprivileged in Israeli society with a new funding effort of 100,000,000 Shekel (approx. $25M USD).
This new and bold initiative which is still in the development process, has two main components. 1) To provide ready made meals to people in their homes, and 2) To provide FOOD CARDS to needy families.
The primary focus of the two components is in placing the dignity of the recipient beneficiaries in the forefront and to mitigate the shame and stigma associated with current practices of having people go to a soup kitchens, food distribution centers, or the like.
The Global Jewish Assistance & Relief Network has been spearheading this call for the past twelve years since first coming to Israel in 2000 after years of experience as the largest distributor of food assistance in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and for the past seven years since creating and establishing Israel's National Food Card.
This has been our message all along.
Israel is not a third world country and does not need soup kitchens and food distribution centers.
Food assistance for the needy must place the dignity of the recipient at the forefront.
Beneficiaries should be able to choose the foods of their choice and based on their particular diets, needs and taste and should not be forced to accept standard distributions or that which is reflective of leftover donations from previous days.
The FOOD CARD is the most dignified, cost effective and transparent venue to provide food assistance to the needy.
As such, we commend the Israeli Government on recognizing the value of our program and for calling on all Israeli non profit and charitable organizations to follow suit.
Thanks to your continuous support, the Jewish Assistance & Relief (JAR) is currently feeding close to 7,000 families monthly and has helped as many as 12,000 families at Holiday times.
It is estimated that at least 150,000 and possibly as many as 250,000 - 300,000 Israeli families require year round assistance, so the need to continue and further these efforts must go on.
Hopefully, this new government program will alleviate the need for many of these families.