Food For Kids

Food For Kids (FFK) have one objective – to provide food for disadvantaged children who mostly live in recognised deprived areas of Netanya.

FFK provide baby food and food for children with special needs, such as those suffering from celiac and protein deficiency and other medical conditions requiring special foods and for others where the need is great. FFK's distribution is case specific and the recipients are chosen by a qualified Social Worker. Each recipient is reviewed every six months. Recipients are initially referred by Municipal social workers, doctors and other welfare professionals

Some 30% of FFK's monthly budget is devoted to the purchase of milk substitute products for babies, where the mother is unable to breastfeed, or cannot produce sufficient quantity. This is a vital source of nourishment, providing all the essential ingredients for normal development. For our clients, 80% of whom are single parents, it is also very expensive. A month’s supply per child is about 3.5 kilos and can cost from £40 - £50. As the official disposable income (after rent) is often no more than £165, this makes a big “dent” and of course there may be other mouths to feed as well. FFK's resources currently allow them to finance half of the monthly requirement per child.

Once a month FFK have a distribution of food parcels containing 20 items suitable for various ages of children and again the recipients are vetted by our Social Worker.

FFK make every effort to keep costs down and so all purchases are made by FFK and not left to the judgment of the client. Although time consuming and tedious, FFK's Social Worker, scours the press for bargains and thus FFK are able to save considerable funds every month.

FFK receive many emergency calls, where there is absolutely no food in the house. In these cases vouchers are provided to enable the family in need to purchase the necessities from a supermarket to help tide them over.

Success is measured by the satisfaction in knowing that over the years, hundreds of families have been helped Families who are in desperate financial straits and where the children were going hungry and not getting the necessary amount of nourishing food.

We often hear that as food is so available and accessible and everyone is guaranteed a minimum income no-one should go hungry. So how is it that we still come across empty fridges, children who go to school hungry and mothers who claim that they haven't the bus fare to pick up a food parcel?

To manage on a low income requires common sense and initiative, supplemented by a supportive social network offering material help. Many families and especially single parents do not enjoy either of these criteria. When in need they have no idea to whom to turn and how to present their case appropriately. Our social worker has come across three cases of 'empty fridges' in the last fortnight alone

The most distressing case concerns a 35 year old mother (father unknown) and her 12 year old, epileptic son, who is under psychiatric care and requires 24/7 supervision. The mother although having lived for 10 years in Israel still has difficulty with the language and is described as 'disorganised', despite being devoted to her son. For this reason the social services have installed an instructor/carer who advises and helps her practically to function as a parent. The family have no relatives in Israel. Until recently the family had their head above water with the mother working as a carer for the elderly, receiving a 100% disability benefit for the son and a rent subsidy (they live in 1.5 rooms). Then without warning their disability benefit was cancelled, apparently since it was claimed the boy had enjoyed a long period free of attacks. This coincided with the school's decision that the son wasn't suitable for a regular environment and needed an institution for special needs. Result - the son is at home and his mother cannot work.

In an effort to break the impasse the mother visited her social worker last week and in the middle of proceedings the lad had a massive seizure in which he lost consciousness and was taken to Hospital. His mother collapsed and was also hospitalised. Later it appeared that mother and son had shared an apple between them all day, since there was nothing else to eat

On account of lack of income the mother has incurred debts around the board of which rent and electricity are the most urgent. With regard to food, Food for Kids helped immediately on hearing about the case. In addition to the usual amount an extra sum was added, intended as treats for the son. The instructor accompanied the mother to the supermarket and advised her what to buy. So long as the situation remains as it is, this family will receive food aid every month. Of course this is not the end of the affair and our social worker has applied to other charities in an effort to ease the debt situation.

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