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Many Israelis Suffer from Food Insecurity

January 19, 2023

by: Janet Aslin

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Needy Israelis rummaging through discarded food in search of something to eat

Thursday, 19 January 2023 | On Tuesday, the National Insurance Institute (NII) released a report showing nearly one million Israelis were living with food insecurity in 2021. More than half, some 665,000 Israelis, were children. Although the unemployment rate is less than in 2021 when many lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cost of living has increased significantly leaving the situation basically unchanged in 2022.

The US Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods.” In plainer terms, it can be defined as having to choose between buying food or diapers, parents going without meals so their children can eat or whole families going to bed hungry.

The statistics from the report are sobering. According to the Times of Israel, “16.2% of families and 21.1% of children are living with food insecurity.” The elderly are also affected, with 12% falling into that category.

The ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israeli populations face much higher rates than other groups. In addition, the report found that food insecurity was worse in Jerusalem and northern areas of the country.

Yoav Ben-Tzur from Israel’s Welfare Ministry told Walla!News, “We see the weaker populations in society, in the periphery and in the cities, giving up basic meals due to severe economic hardship. Every day, hundreds of thousands of children in Israel go to schools without a good lunch.”

The fight against food insecurity is happening at several levels. Governmental programs as well as privately run organizations that provide food to those in need are doing their parts. Although the NII report reflected a slight drop in numbers since the last report in 2016, there is obviously still a long way to go.

As one of the private organizations providing food to those in need, Bridges for Peace represents Christians from around the world whose hearts are filled with compassion. We strive to obey the instruction Jesus (Yeshua) gave: “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink” (Matt. 25:35).

Since 1990, Bridges for Peace has operated a food bank in Jerusalem, providing tons of nutritious food to new immigrants, Holocaust survivors, needy Israeli families and widows and orphans in crisis situations. At present, we help more than 24,000 Israelis in need every month put food on the table. In 2006, we also launched the Feed a Child Program, which provides hot lunches to 340 children from poverty-stricken homes. Often, that is the only nutritious meal they will have all day.

As the NII report has shown, the work is not done. There are still those who are hungry. Bridges for Peace stands ready to do its share in the fight against food insecurity in Israel. Please consider joining us by sending a generous donation to our Food Project.

Posted on January 19, 2023

Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 19, 2023)

Photo Credit: Sylvia Large/

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