Israel’s premier provider of daily meals for the poor is seeking urgently needed funds in order to continue this important project.

Though the State of Israel, since its founding less than 70 years ago, has achieved “start-up nation” status, it also faces the reality that nearly 1.7 million citizens live in poverty. This contrast is largely caused by the fact that the nation continues to be populated by immigrants, often fleeing from persecution and anti-Semitism in their countries of birth and arriving in Israel with few resources and inadequate education.

Therefore, for over a decade, Meir Panim charity organization has done its best to fill in the gaps of struggling Israeli families and individuals. “Israel’s high cost of living and immigrant population has resulted in an unprecedented amount of impoverished citizens,” explained Goldie Sternbuch, director of Overseas Relations for Meir Panim.

An alarming two out of every five children suffer from hunger, Sternbuch said. Furthermore, one in five senior citizens, including Holocaust survivors, must choose between buying medicine or food.

To help those in need by raising funds to keep Meir Panim’s network of social welfare programs in Israel successfully running, the organization has launched a crowdfunding campaign.

Meir Panim has matching donors for their campaign: for every dollar donated, a sponsor will also give a dollar.

 

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‘People Go to Sleep Hungry and Need our Help’

“We reached out to people who personally have seen the lifesaving and enriching work that Meir Panim does every day at our free restaurant-style soup kitchens and after-school programs for at-risk youth and asked them to support this crowdfunding campaign by matching donations,” Sternbuch said. “The message needs to be spread that there are people in Israel who go to sleep hungry every night and need our help.”

Sternbuch is quick to point out that Meir Panim’s efforts are for both immediate and long-term relief of poverty. “For elderly citizens, there may not be much that can be done to get them out of the vicious cycle of poverty,” she said. “However, for Israel’s struggling youth, they need to know that there is a better future awaiting them.”

Programs for Youth Encourage Self-Sufficiency

Much of Meir Panim’s budget goes towards tutoring, vocational training and after-school youth clubs. These programs encourage self-sufficiency and a desire to succeed where their parents may not have. “As the saying goes, ‘Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime,” Sternbuch added.

Meir Panim is doing both. Along with serving of hundreds of thousands nutritious, hot meals yearly throughout Israel, Meir Panim gives hope to the youth who participate in its after-school programs. Participants in Meir Panim’s youth clubs tend to strive harder to achieve academically, exhibit better behavior, and serve in Israel’s army – a crucial step for success in Israel.

Every day, Meir Panim makes a difference in the lives of Israel’s neediest citizens of all ages through its network of social services.

“Meir Panim’s programs are even more than daily nutrition,” said Sternbuch. “They provide emotional and psychological support to those who are lonely and desperately seeking a better day and a better future.”

 

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