can track usage of cards in real time.
The Food Card
Food Card is a project founded and managed by the non-profit organization:
Jewish Assistance and Relief Fund. The project is aimed at helping
the largest number of families in need in the most efficient manner, economically
and logistically, and respecting the privacy and dignity of the needy.
is a monthly rechargeable debit card for the purpose of acquiring essential grocery
products from the Blue Square chain of supermarkets.
Families are referred to us via welfare departments in their respective municipalities.
We also cooperate with other funds and welfare organizations by issuing The Food
Card for them.
It is not our intention to replace neither the Ministry of Welfare nor the Social
Security services; yet, we believe that a contribution of NIS 250-300 could considerably
improve each family's well being.
In contrast to other projects, the entire contribution reaches the recipient directly,
to be consumed wholly.
One hundred percent of the contribution reaches the recipients delineated by
The common monetary value of the cards issued is roughly NIS 250-300 per month.
However, values can also reach up to NIS 2,000 per month. This occurs in cases of
exceptional need or when specific families were adopted by donors who choose to
grant larger sums.
One of the unique advantages of Food Card is that the donor may define the card
recipients by geographic location and parameters such as new immigrants, single
mothers, holocaust survivors, etc.
This useful debit card provides the person in need with a degree of autonomy not
available by other means. It gives the cardholder a sense of belonging to the typical
consuming public, a sensation they may have not experienced.
Food Card cannot be used to purchase tobacco, alcohol or electrical appliances.
Each recipient signs a waiver allowing us to verify that the card has not been used
to acquire these items.
One of our goals is to reach also the needy in the most remote and isolated areas
The most important advantage of this project is preserving the dignity of the
Donations for this project are recognized for tax purposes by the Israeli and the
Cooperating with welfare departments of the municipalities to match our contribution.
Matching contribution by the municipalities usually stands around 30%. This enables
a significant increase in the number of families participating in the Food Card
The current expenses of this project are covered by the discount received from the
chain of supermarkets. In case the discount exceeds our current expenses, then the
excess money is redirected to increase the volume of contributions of Food Cards
issued by us.
Donors can direct their gift to specific profiles of recipients and to specific
geographical areas they wish to support.
You will be able to make your selections in the shopping cart when donating.
- Single parents
- Special needs
- Holocaust survivors.
- Military (IDF) families
- South Lebanon Army (Christian militia) veterans
- Any need
- Tel Aviv
- Yehuda and Shomron
- Be'er Sheva
- Any area
Every year, reports and surveys that abide by an established set of measures and
criteria are published regarding the level of poverty that exists in Israel.
According to the Bank Mazon survey of the Israeli population in 2005 every fifth
Israeli family and one out of every three children are living below the poverty
level and are suffering from a lack of nutritional safety.
Facts and figures for the year 2005:
- 147,984 households are suffering from a
nutritional safety (8% of the Israeli population).
- 258,972 households are suffering from a
lack of nutritional safety (14% of the Israeli population).
406,956 households are struggling with nutritional safety (22% of the Israeli population).
- 663,109 individuals are suffering from a
lack of nutritional safety.
- 1,021,188 individuals are suffering from a
lack of nutritional safety.
1,684,297 individuals are struggling with nutritional safety.
What is a “serious” lack of nutritional safety?
This degree of nutritional deficiency results in skipped meals and occasionally
nothing to eat for an entire day. In addition, these households,
including the children, consume food of a lesser quality and quantity.
What is a “moderate” lack of nutritional safety?
These households consume food of a lesser quality and quantity. The children
are provided with enough food, but less nutritious in value.
The remaining Israeli population (78%) benefits from nutritious foods.
Today, in Israel, there is enough food to sustain the entire Israeli population.
Nevertheless, there are many families and individuals that are unable to provide
for their nutritional needs.
is defined as “the ability to purchase on a regular and dependable basis nutritious
food, in socially acceptable ways, in order to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.”
a lack of nutritional safety
is defined as “limited and lacking in the ability to purchase on a regular and dependable
basis enough nutritious food in ways that are socially acceptable.”
Very low-income households are struggling to manage their earnings just so they
can pay their basic expenses. These households are often forced to make difficult
choices between necessary expenses such as paying the mortgage, heating, electricity,
doctor's care and purchasing necessary food.
Those households that have been reported to be suffering from a serious lack of
nutritional safety consume a third of the amount of meat, poultry, fish, fruits,
vegetables, and dairy products in comparison to households who benefit from a proper
level of nutritional safety. Those lacking in nutritional safety consume a lot more
wheat products, potatoes, rice, etc. As a result, this group consumes less
vital and nutritious ingredients like: protein, iron, calcium and B vitamins.
In yearly terms, one can conclude that households struggling from a serious lack
of nutritional safety are unable to consume meat, poultry and fish for months at
a time. In fact these families are on the edge of malnutrition.
More than 90% of food assistance
recipients in Israel would prefer the FOOD CARD
92% of those in need of assistance from food aid organizations would prefer to replace
receiving the food package with a debit card or coupons that will allow them to
purchase the food of their choice or, alternatively,to receive the food and gifts
to their home without having to wait in line where they are exposed and their dignity
injured - according to a YEDID Association survey.
"There are seniors who cannot cook or shop and need to have prepared meals brought
to them, and mothers with small children or families living from welfare to require
packages with food that suits them and enables them to consume the proper food groups,"
said one of the volunteers who participated in interviews.
THEY WANT THEIR DIGNITY
They are embarrassed to stand in line and are doing everything within their power
to protect their dignity. A survey conducted by YEDID shows that the majority of
needy recipients would prefer to receive a magnetic pre-paid debit card or food
vouchers in place of standing in line to receive food while being exposed to the
JAR runs events to lift family spirits, to encourage pride and to give a positive
feeling for those who participate in important educational programs.
Purim event for women and mothers in need, whom had taken a course to empower women
in Dimona. They attended a six month program in which they studied and received
life skills, financial management, etc. All participants were granted an addition
to the food card upon completion of the course, making it easier for them to deal
The event was donated by MB (supermarket chain). Entertainment included games and
clowns, a magician, and delightful treats, a meal and refreshments. Additionally,
each child received a Purim costume and huge.
It gave mothers and children lots of joy and attention, and we received a lot of
The event was attended, the Mayor of the city, local welfare directors, and several
senior Mega store executives.
Tamara Edell Gottstein: serves on the Abraham and Sonia Rochlin
Foundation and the Forum to Address Food Insecurity & Poverty in Israel
Israel is blessed with an abundant supply of nutritious foods however many Israeli
families cannot afford them. Food is one place that poor families commonly skimp.
If they do not pay rent they are on the street and if they don't pay their water
bill it is shut off. Poor families buy cheaper food and less of it to make ends
meet. However, the result is that they often fail to provide the very basic building
blocks of nutrition required for healthy development and normal functioning. Food
prices have risen sharply. Already in 2006, when food was much more affordable,
Vered Shriqui Kaufman, a researcher form Ben Gurion University of the Negev, carefully
analyzed what Israeli's could afford to purchase to feed their children. She took
the Health Ministries minimal nutrition recommendations and went to bargain market
places to purchase the cheapest forms of protein and other vital nutrients available,
only to discover that there was no way that 40% of Israeli children had economic
access to the essential foods. The National Insurance Institute reports that 35%
of Israeli families work at or below minimum wages. The problem of inadequate nutrition
is particularly acute among poor large families but already in the first national
study of Food Insecurity (2003), the problem was also found among many veteran Israeli
families with three children or less.
In America, the USDA provides 15 major food security programs for its struggling
poor families, from Women Infant and Children (WIC) to Food Stamps, and kids Café's.
etc. Israel has very few food programs, small grants at holiday times, and following
the a small school lunch program that provides a nutritional lunch to a fraction
of Israeli children in need. There is no national food stamp program. To address
this glaring lack, a food relief project was initiated by JAR called Food Card.
Providing a magnetic card that can be used to purchase fresh nutritious food staples
monthly and give a boost to healthy family nutrition. The cards are given to the
neediest families identified by local social welfare agencies. Food Card often uses
their card to add an educational component; single mothers in one town receive the
card as part of a family budgeting and smart shopping. Estranged fathers of youth
at risk receive the card for attending parenting sessions. Additionally the cards
often target particularly needy populations like elderly holocaust survivors and
The Food Card program makes a significant difference in the lives of recipients.
It allows them to purchase nutritious and culturally appropriate food in normative,
acceptable ways, avoiding the shame of food cartons delivered to the door.
Your contribution is often matched by local welfare services and corporate Israel
philanthropy in three way partnerships and can truly make the difference in the
lives of impoverished families.
May 29, 2012
...making JAR the outstanding project that it is today.
May the A-lmighty G-d bless you and your loved ones with all of your own needs,
in the merit of your contribution.
Rabbi Hershel Reichman, R"M
Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva University
Appreciation from the Mayor of Dimona:
“On behalf of the families of Dimona and the Welfare and Education Department Head,
I want to thank you for the support before the Chag (Holiday).”
Note from a recipient:
I received the food card from your organization this week and I wanted to express
My daughter died last year after being sick for many years.
We were left with a deep and painful hole in our heart, and many financial debts.
The war only made our situation worse.
Our family is very sensitive and allergic to different foods so we could not benefit
from the meals
sent to help the families of the north.
After we received the card, I went to the supermarket and I filled the pantry with
all of our household needs for the month.
I bought tuna spread for Brachaleh to eat during lunch break in school and cornflakes
that all the children love to eat in the morning, especially Avrahami.
You have acquired for yourselves a great merit and earned my blessings for everything
May G-d bless you with His full, open , holy, overflowing and generous hand.
Have a happy and sweet New Year (I also bought honey for Rosh Hashana)
N D from the Galil