Coronavirus: Labor and Social Welfare Ministry gives hot meal to elderly

Elderly people are among those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. 30,000 elderly people across Israel will receive hot meals, weekly visits and daily phone calls.

David and Shlomo: A volunteer from Latet, and one of the Aid for Life beneficiaries (photo credit: Courtesy)
David and Shlomo: A volunteer from Latet, and one of the Aid for Life beneficiaries
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As the coronavirus is spreading around communities, the elderly are one of the most vulnerable populations. Part of the struggles the elderly face in this situation is that not only are they more vulnerable to the virus and stuck at home, but the NGOs that usually provide them with food packages struggle with a lack of funds and volunteers. Some NGOs have even asked the government to help. 
In Israel, 30,000 elderly people usually benefit from going to day centers and clubs run by the Labor and Social Welfare Ministry, but due to the Health Ministry's new guidelines, those had to be closed down, leaving many of them isolated. 
In response, the Labor and Social Welfare Ministry has decided to provide them with hot meals and weekly home visits. They will receive meals on Sundays and Thursdays, and those who attended the day centers twice or more times a week will get weekly visits from social workers. They will also receive daily phone calls from the staff of the ministry's department of social services. Some will also be provided with assistance to purchase essential products online.
30,000 elderly who usually visit day centers operated by the ministry will benefit from those services across the country.
Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ofir Akunis said in a statement that the protection and well-being of the elderly population is a priority for the ministry.
"In accordance with the guidelines of the Health Ministry and the National Security Council, and as part of the effort to protect vulnerable populations, day centers and clubs for the elderly have been closed. In order to ensure the well-being of the elderly, the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services has created an alternative basket of services including hot meals, daily contact, weekly social workers visits and, in some cases, assistance in making essential product purchases online," he said.