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25% of Israelis suffer food insecurity, report says

Shoppers browse fresh produce inside a supermarket in Tel Aviv on 18 September 2020 [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg/Getty Images]
Shoppers browse fresh produce inside a supermarket in Tel Aviv on 18 September 2020 [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

Nearly 25 per cent of Israeli families with children are experiencing food insecurity, new data from Israel's largest anti-poverty NGO shows.

The annual report by the Leket organisation, which provides various welfare and food aid services, found that of the two million people in need of sufficient nutrition, 774,000 are children -one third of minors in Israel.

Moreover, 633,000 families in Israel don't have enough resources to fulfill their daily dietary needs, the study found.

The economic crisis that accompanied the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, led to a significant increase of food insecurity in the country.

According to Leket, the coronavirus crisis has forced 155,000 into a state of food insecurity, joining the circle of poverty, which they had not previously experienced.

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Leket CEO Eran Weintrob, said the onset of COVID-19 and the economic crisis that followed worsen the distress of low-income families, who were suffering even before the pandemic.

"Although the government allocated NIS 100 million [$31 million], the amount needed in order to solve this situation is about NIS 1 billion [$312 million]," he said.

The Israeli Welfare Ministry promised to increase allocations for food security to more than NIS 100 million, but this has yet to happen.

A report by the Knesset Research and Information Center that was published last month said at the end of 2020, only 200,000 families suffered from food shortages, which is actually three times lower than the real figure, reported the Times of Israel.

Weintrob added: "200 charities support 80,000 food-insecure families daily, and these associations are waiting for government funding in order to respond to the great needs."

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