'Worrying' rise in pleas for food

The Ra'anana-based Table to Table (Me'shulhan Le'shulhan) charity is reporting a "worrying" 50 percent rise in pleas for food as children begin their Passover vacation this week, reports www.mynet.co.il. The organization said that many children obtained their only nourishing meal of the day at school, and with the beginning of the vacation were "facing helpless parents who cannot supply the basic needs of their children." "This year is marked by a crisis among new families, mainly working people who supply or supplied accompanying services for the high-tech field," a Table to Table spokesman said. "Those turning to us are mainly family men aged over 35 who cannot find work and who have finished their period of entitlement to unemployment benefits. We are speaking about people who supplied services such as cleaning, laundry, catering or security, and whose services have been reduced or cancelled." The report said that Table to Table, which collects leftover foods from reception centers, caterers, farmers, bakeries and army bases and redistributes them to the needy around Israel via some 250 charities, would this year distribute 500 tons of food to tens of thousands of people for Passover. But before the festival begins next week, the organization has embarked on an operation to collect all the unwanted hametz foods that are being cleaned out of Passover-observant homes. Some of the donated foods will be distributed to the needy before Passover, while the remainder will be stored until after the holiday and will then be distributed. Foods can be dropped off at the organization's premises at Rehov Hasadna 11, Ra'anana, daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.