This year, the government proposes to supplement food baskets for each poor family to the tune of 14 shekels ($4) for the holidays. At that rate, the funding doesn’t cover the cost of a jar of honey.
The holidays are around the corner and with it comes the fear of financial burdens for many poor families. The government relies on nonprofits to provide food for the poor and gives each nonprofit $4 for every food basket distributed.
“This is obviously not enough. We are Am Israel (the nation of Israel) and we all want everyone to have food for the holidays and all year long”, said Aryeh Lurie, founder of Yad Ezra V’Shulamit, an organization that distributes 23,000 food baskets for the holidays and 10,000 each month to the poor.
“We ask everyone to step up to the plate and consider our poorer brothers in Israel who need a helping hand for the chagim (holidays). If everyone gives one basket of food, we can feed 100,000 people for Rosh Hashana and Sukkot,” said Lurie.
As direct providers, Yad Ezra V’Shulamit is on the front line of providing food and/or vouchers at local stores for the poor. Baskets include chicken, fish, potatoes, fruit, vegetables, oil, grains, beans, canned goods, pasta and challah all year long and extra grape juice and honey for Rosh Hashana. A basket for a family is $120, and $150 for a large family.
Yad Ezra V’Shulamit relies on the generosity of the international Jewish community to ensure that Israel’s poor also celebrates the New Year with dignity.
“What a sweet way to start the New Year. To care about your fellow Jew who has less than you and make sure that he has food for the holiday in a dignified way” stated Lurie.