(Yad Ezra V'Shulamit) (Yad Ezra V'Shulamit)

Over 50,000 food baskets to be distributed to Israel’s poor for Passover by Yad Ezra V’Shulamit.

How do you get food to 250,000 people for Passover? The logistics alone are overwhelming. Yad Ezra V’Shulamit once again steps up to the plate with a fleet of 10 trucks, 3 warehouses, 80 distribution points and a lot of love to get food to people who need a helping hand for the holidays.

“Corona put 1,000,000 more Israelis out of work. We are inundated with requests for food on a daily basis. We increased our distribution from 3,500 baskets a week to 10,000 a week and it still isn’t enough,” said Aryeh Lurie, the Founder of Yad Ezra V’Shulamit. “There are thousands of poor people in Israel and now there are millions of ‘new poor’ who need food to survive”, Lurie explained.

The statistics are staggering. Pre-corona there were 1.8 million poor people. The first lockdown brought with it an additional 285,000 new poor, the second lockdown 465,000 new poor and the third 750,000 new poor.

The Faces Behind the Numbers

Real people suffering financial setbacks stand behind the staggering numbers. Take Nachum, a 35-year-old Sephardi father of 5 in Jerusalem. “Before corona, I had a rich life. I worked as a chef in a hotel and brought home a very good salary. I had more than enough to support my family and I was the one who always gave tzedakah to the poor.

From the first lockdown, the hotels were shut down and I have been out of work ever since. The unemployment barely covers the mortgage, electricity, medical insurance and kids’ schools that goes out automatically. There is not enough money left for food. What am I supposed to do”, Nachum asked? He now receives a weekly food basket from Yad Ezra V’Shulamit.

Funds for the organization come from private donors, the government and foundations. Feeding so many people for Pesach costs millions of dollars. Many companies and Leket help to provide vegetables and other products for free. However, the more expensive items in the basket like chickens, matza, grape juice, etc. have to be purchased. We also distribute food vouchers in addition to the baskets. It is a huge financial undertaking.

The government gives us 8 shekels a basket. “We very much appreciate anything the State of Israel gives for the poor but 8 shekels barely covers the cost of a box of matza. We turn to our brothers and sisters all over the world, anyone who can give to open their heart to help all of Israel celebrate Pesach with dignity,” Lurie asked.

To give a food basket, go to www.yadezra.net/foodbasket