MAZON has been working to address food security issues in Israel for more than 30 years.
Hunger in Israel
According to a survey by Israel’s National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi), nearly 25% of Israelis experience food insecurity. Of these, more than 40% were considered to be living with severe hunger.
Food insecurity cuts across Israel’s demographic sectors, impacting working families, seniors, and children. A recent report from Latet, an anti-poverty advocacy organization and MAZON grantee partner, reveals that in 2013, 25% of Israeli children went to bed hungry several times a month, the percentage of seniors who struggled to put food on the table more than doubled, and some families resorted to foraging for food in garbage bins or eating discarded food scraps.
As the poverty situation deepens and more people struggle to put feed themselves, a charitable response to hunger will continue to be insufficient. The Israeli government must accept a broader and more informed role, and MAZON has a unique role to play.
MAZON in Israel – past and present
We began by supporting colleagues—helping to found Leket, the renowned national food bank, and providing grants to dozens of anti-poverty organizations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Be’er Sheva. We then amplified our on-the-ground presence by co-sponsoring two conferences on food security to advance critical conversations about the need for a government response to hunger.
Now, we have a staff person on the ground who is working with partners to create an advocacy infrastructure that will deepen and strengthen anti-hunger and anti-poverty work in the State of Israel. Our vision is that Israel will actively work to address and prevent food insecurity among all its people through responsive, coherent policy and support of charitable efforts. MAZON’s priorities in bringing that vision to fruition are to:
- Develop and advance policy, both to shift current policies that increase hunger and poverty in Israel and to develop and promote policies that decrease them;
- Shape public discourse about food insecurity and poverty, both to raise public awareness of the issues and to support a productive public conversation about them;
- Form and strengthen strategic alliances between food security organizations and economic/social justice organizations