A subsidized food kitchen for the poor in Ramat Hasharon has been forced to raise its prices from NIS 5 to NIS 8 per meal because of the rise in world food prices, and the rise is hitting the needy hard, reports www.local.co.il. The Bayit Ham (Warm House) kitchen, run by the Chabad movement in conjunction with the city's social welfare department, is finding that the price rise is too much for some poor families to bear. According to the report, the kitchen supplies about 150 servings of food to 40 to 50 needy families in the Ramat Hasharon area every day. The needy are referred to the kitchen by the city's welfare service, and the food is paid for by donors. Those eating at the kitchen are charged the fee by order of the city's welfare department, which aims to make the families show they are working and attempting to break the cycle of poverty. But the report said even a fee of NIS 8 per meal, necessitated by the recent steep rises in the price of rice and other foods, is proving too much for some families. "It is truly shameful that the prices have been raised," one resident said. "It has been hard for many families even to pay NIS 5 per serving." The resident said Chabad, donors and the city should have absorbed the rise in food prices without having to increase prices for the needy. But a Chabad spokesman said there had been no choice but to raise prices, and added that about 20 percent of the meals at the kitchen were given free of any charge to those in need.