14-year-old Yael had always been an energetic and enthusiastic member of her high school class. So when she started withdrawing from school activities and losing weight, her teacher was quick to realise something wasn’t right. She discovered that Yael’s single mother was suffering from severe financial problems and struggling to provide regular meals for her three children. Yael hadn’t eaten meat in months and was barely managing one proper meal a day. Her mother had been too embarrassed to turn to anyone for help and all three children were starting to show signs of malnutrition.
The school’s social worker got in touch with the Bet She’an Foodbank who immediately began providing hot, nutritious weekend and holiday meals to Yael’s family and arranging for them to be delivered discreetly so that her mother felt no embarrassment or shame. Yael was soon smiling again, looking so much healthier, and taking part in classes again. And her mother felt so much more positive about the future knowing that there were people in the community she could turn to for help.
WHY CHOOSE THE BET SHE'AN FOODBANK
The Bet She’an Foodbank is an entirely voluntary-led organisation where members of the community take responsibility for each other and make sure those less fortunate are well fed and cared for. It provides Shabbat meals to 100 families every week and 30 elderly members of the community. They also provide food for the festivals so that the entire community can feel fully involved in holiday celebrations.
The activities of the Foodbank are carried out with the utmost discretion, so recipients do not know who prepared the food they receive, and donors and volunteers don’t know whose meals they have funded and prepared.
As the Foodbank has grown, so have the requests for its help. Today it also distributes clothing, eyewear and baby supplies, and provides food for special occasions such as marriages and Bar Mitzvahs to families who would otherwise be unable to afford any kind of celebration.