As the New Year approaches, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is providing food and clothing vouchers to 44,000 needy children and families throughout Israel. These vouchers will enable tens of thousands of Israelis (Jews, Arabs, Druze and Bedouin) to purchase food and clothing from various retailers. This year, the sum of holiday vouchers that IFCJ will distribute to Israel’s disadvantaged populations will top $3 million.
Within the context of IFCJ’s New Year Assistance Campaign:
- 14,600 needy families, single-parent families living in public housing (Amidar and Amigur) and IFCJ’s refugee families from Ukraine will each receive a 500 NIS voucher for food purchases at Shufersal stores or a food basket;
- 14,100 “lone soldiers” and soldiers-in-need eligible will each receive a 250 or 500 NIS vouchers for purchases at Mega chain stores, depending on their need;
- 8,500 children living in Israeli welfare institutions will each receive a 300 NIS voucher to purchase clothing at FOX apparel stores;
- 1,400 children living below the poverty line will receive Fellowship backpacks for the new school year.
IFCJ has increased its annual New Year Assistance Campaign to offset a difficult fiscal year which pushed an additional 20,000 families and 44,000 children below the poverty line – the result of deep cuts to Israel’s welfare institutions and subsidies for needy families. To date, Israel’s 2015-2016 national budget has yet to be approved and no concrete steps have been taken to reduce growing poverty levels.