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Feeding the Hungry

15/06/2007 - 29 Sivan

Feed the hungry

Unfortunately terrorism has become a major concern for every human being throughout the world today, but for the Jewish people in Israel it is more than a concern, it is a daily way of life. A short period of “quiet” brings upon anxiety of the next devastating news of another attack. Terrorism is not only tearing families apart in which the pain will never cease, it’s affects are drastically felt everywhere in the country. 

The additional expenses to the defense forces and civilian security is costing the country far more than it can handle. Much of the funding is at the expense of Israeli citizens.

Pensioners once received government  allowances which enabled them to purchase food staples and basic necessities, however due to the severe cutbacks in these allowances, the elderly are forced to live off of a meager pension which barely covers the utility bills. 

Approximately 25,000 residents live in Ofakim, a city in southern Israel. About 40% are immigrants from the FSU and Ethiopia.  The city is considered the capital of Israel’s unemployment and poverty issues. Approximately 25% of its families are attended to by the welfare agencies. To make matters worse, the town is in direct range of missile attacks being launched by the Arab town of Gazza just 10 kilometers away. Kassam rockets fired into Ofakim are almost routine.

The plight of the elderly in their “golden age” is far from shining. A large percentage of the elderly in Israel are holocaust survivors living off  meager pensions. They hoped to receive benefits from Germany. It seems that although the funds were allocated, they never reached their beneficiaries. Cracks in the legislation forced these elderly people to beg for the monies that is rightfully theirs.

Buying bread and cheese outweighed the mental anguish of recalling the horrors of the Nazis in filling out endless forms only to be told that they are not eligible for funding. Bureaucracy won the struggle and left these elderly people to relive cold and hunger.

Chamah helps to feed the elderly by sponsoring soup kitchens and distributing food packages.  Although Chamah is feeding thousands of needy elderly people, more and more are asking for a hot meal. With additional funds, we can make a difference in more people’s lives.


The additional expenses to the defense forces and civilian security is costing the country far more than it can handle. Much of the funding is at the expense of Israeli citizens. Tens of thousands of families are suffering from drastic slashes in government  allowances and social services.  These social benefits have been a major lifeline for families with children.  Further intensifying the situation is the cost of living that is constantly on the rise, but the minimum wage salary stays the same. These factors have left the children hungry and destitute. 

Israel’s National Insurance report stipulates that the recent increase of tens of thousands of  poor children brings the total of children living under the poverty line to a third. This frightening fact translates into empty lunchboxes and no nourishing food waiting for them at home. Their parents barely manage to scrape together a  few shekels to buy one bag of milk and loaf of bread to split between the family.


Children the innocent victims of terrorism, go to school without a nourishing breakfast which of course impedes their health and learning abilities.


As a joint venture with the City of Kiryat Malachi, Chamah prepares and distributes wholesome lunchboxes to various schools throughout the city. Feeding the children not only eases their hunger, but gives them the incentive to go to school and receive an education. There are more children who need our lunches, but our funding is limited in comparison to the demand.


The most meaningful humanitarian gesture is to feed the hungry, and especially children. It is hard enough that they are bearing the pain of terrorism in their young lives, but what we can do is to ease the hunger.




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