Fighting Israeli poverty
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-01-24
Israeli soup kitchen
Despite talk of economic recovery in Israel, a charity says the gap between rich and poor is widening and claims that recent figures of the growth of poverty in Israel comes as no surprise.
According to statistics from the National Insurance Institute, a third of all Israeli children are now described as impoverished.
"Despite talk of economic recovery, the poverty gap in Israel continues to widen, and it is Israels children and elderly citizens who suffer most. We know that thousands of children go to school each day without so much as a sandwich, which blights their potential to learn and succeed, sowing the seeds for future economic and social problems," said Abraham Israel, founder and director of charity Hazon Yeshaya.
According to Israel who works in frontline help to those affected by poverty, the charity is distributing 7000 meals daily, of which 5000 are given directly to children in school.
"We are seeing food insecurity and malnutrition across all sectors of Israeli society and we are trying to help - not only by providing hot food but also by running vocational training courses, to help those who are able to break out of the poverty cycle," he added.
The organisation was set up initially to help people starving in Jerusalem and now serves up over 200,000 meals a month across Israel.