Unfortunately, many children in Israel are hungry.

Despite the country’s economic success, there are thousands of families that fall through the cracks.

“We see this on a daily basis,” says Aryeh Lurie, founder of Yad Ezra V’Shulamit, an organization that distributes 3,000 food baskets to poor families and feeds hundreds of children a hot lunch daily.

As one mother told me regarding Chanuka, “Forget the doll; my kid needs lunch!” The abject poverty and lack of finances force parents to choose between food and medicine with no money in the budget for toys or a doll.

“People don’t realize how many kids go hungry or what it means to be poor. They are not dirty, unkempt people. They just can’t make ends meet and need a helping hand,” says Lurie.

“I work hard and bring in 3,500 shekels ($972) a month but my rent is 3,000 shekels a month,” says one recipient of a food basket. “What am I supposed to live on? And how can I feed my kids? The weekly food basket I get from Yad Ezra V’Shulamit saves me and my whole family,” he states.

But despite the thousands of weekly baskets that Yad Ezra V’Shulamit distributes and the hundreds of daily nourishing lunches, it is a drop in the bucket.

“We have so many families on the waiting list for a food basket,” explains Lurie. “If everyone helps a little, we can get food to everyone. Especially the children. We spend $7 a day per child for a hot lunch. We also help with their homework to enable them to succeed academically; we want to give them a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty. I can’t sleep at night knowing there are Jewish children going to sleep hungry. I ask that everyone do something to make sure there are no hungry children in Israel”, Lurie requests.

To find our more information or to donate a meal, go to www.yadezra.net