As Israeli students returned to a new school year on September 1, two local charity organizations set out to help kids in need with lunchtime sandwiches and school supplies.
Israeli charity Nevet distributes more than 11,000 sandwiches daily to children in 100 municipalities for the typical ‘aruchat eser,’ the ten o’clock snack eaten each day in schools around the country.
Another local charity, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), is spearheading a program to ensure that all Israeli students have the school supplies they need for the coming year.
The IFCJ program will distribute 1,500 vouchers, each for NIS 300 (around $86) that can be used at office and school supply chain Kravitz.
Ra’anana-based Nevet currently has a waiting list of another 20,000 students who need sandwiches. Donors can visit the Nevet website to donate a sandwich.
Nevet CEO Rotem Yosef-Giladi said that demand for Nevet’s services far exceeds what they are able to offer and they receive an influx of requests from principals and teachers to help additional students each year.
The organization recently launched an online video campaign featuring children from England, South Africa and the US as they prepare for their new school year, sending a message of solidarity and unity.
“We need to make sure every kid possible has basic nutrition so they can thrive, both physically and mentally, alongside their peers at school,” she added.
The International Fellowship’s school supply program emerged following a survey conducted by the IFCJ revealing that as many as one-quarter of all families in Israel don’t have the budget to purchase supplies ahead of the school year.
The survey found that the average cost of school supplies for each child is NIS 612 ($180).
“Pencils, notebooks and a schoolbag are basic needs for children to succeed in school,” said IFCJ CEO Yael Eckstein says. “This partnership with Kravitz and funded by our committed community of donors will take a bit of the burden off of these families under what we know continues to be a challenging time.”
The school supply program was made possible with funds from more than 600,000 donors around the world, and in partnership with 55 non-profit organizations located across Israel.