Knesset approves law to combat hunger

Bill would form National Council for Nutritional Security, ensure even weaker sectors of Israeli society have access to healthy food.

By
July 29, 2011 03:47
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

sodium label 311. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

 
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The Knesset approved a bill forming a National Council for Nutritional Security, which will ensure that even the weaker sectors of Israeli society have access to healthy food.

The new law, proposed by MKs Ruhama Avraham-Balila (Kadima), Avraham Michaeli (Shas), Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) and Tzion Pinyan (Likud), will create a council to advise Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon on his policies to prevent hunger and their implementation.

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“In my opinion, this is one of the most important bills this house has passed,” Avraham-Balila said on Wednesday. “I am happy that Kahlon, the most active minister in the Knesset, will form the council within six months.”

The council, which will meet every second month, will include 13 members representing the various ministries and government agencies related to “nutritional security,” such as the Education, Health, and Welfare and Social Services ministries and the Union of Local Authorities, as well as economists and academic experts on welfare issues.

They will be required to present the Knesset with a yearly report on its recommendations.

Eight MKs supported the bill, and none opposed.

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“I think this bill, when it is implemented, will bring good news to the State of Israel – for the first time in 63 years, a council will finally take care of the issue of poverty and hunger in Israel, which is growing all the time, unfortunately,” Avraham-Balila said.

She expressed hope that rather than distribute cartons of food the council will recommend instituting food-stamps or something similar. This way, the needy will not have to face the embarrassment of waiting in lines for soup kitchens, and at the same time, the money for food will not be spent on cigarettes or alcohol.

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