In the past months, we have seen requests for food increase dramatically as food prices have increased by 18%. We have continually dug deep into our reserves to help meet the needs, but now our reserves are getting low. Unless we see an increase in food giving, we will not be able to continue at the same level of distribution. Many who were just barely getting by before the food prices rose dramatically now simply can’t supply the food their families need. Some 25% of Israelis live in poverty. Of these, 265,000 experience severe shortages of nutrition, while an equal number experience moderate shortages of nutrition. Only 30,000 of these needy Israelis receive state food assistance. Bridges for Peace is helping meet food needs for 24,000 people every month, but the needs are much higher.
We help 50 families in a small central city called Kiryat Malachi (City of Angels). The food is distributed through the social welfare department to those with the greatest needs. Here are a couple of their stories.
“I am a single parent with four children. My children and I are living only from the allocation from Israel’s National Insurance [a pittance, which doesn’t even come close to covering rent on a basic, run-down apartment]. I have a lot of difficulty supporting my family in my given condition.
“Once a month I do receive food parcels, which are a big help for me and my children. The food items which I receive are allowing me to save the money so I can buy other food items for my family like dairy products, vegetables and some meat. Those food parcels are a gift of Bridges for Peace, which are a great relief for my family’s economy. A woman like me needs to carefully calculate about every shekel (US 25 cents) I spend. Thank you very much.”
“I am an elderly woman of 80 years of age. I do receive my elder’s allowance from the Israel National Insurance and this is my only income, which is hardly enough for my living. But Bridges for Peace is giving our community on a monthly basis a food pallet, which is given to us, the needy, in printed plastic bags [saying Christians from Bridges for Peace supplied this food]. As I save those food items, I can buy for myself another item, which is for my basic needs. Thank you very much, dear donors of Bridges for Peace.”
“There are more needy people who receive food from you and they are very happy to know that somebody cares for them. We all are very happy for you and for your monthly support to our city, Kiryat Malachi.”
We recognize that you are also experiencing soaring food costs. Even though it is hard, most of us are still able to supply food to our families. In North America, October and November is when we praise God for His provision of food (Canada’s Thanksgiving Day was on October 10, while the US celebration is on November 24). As we prepare to eat a lavish meal, let’s remember that many of Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) earthly family are suffering from food insecurity. He told us to feed the hungry saying, “…Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40b). The single mother with four children counting every shekel (like every US quarter) and the elderly woman are some of the family of Jesus. It makes me smile to know Jesus accepts this as a gift from us to Him. It makes me sad when we don’t have the funds to help more in desperate need. Please give from your heart for the needy of Israel. No gift is too small or too large. The needs are great.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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