Mapping of Arab Food Aid Organizations in Israel

A broad diversity of policy mechanisms are designed to prevent food insecurity – the uncertain ability to obtain adequate food in socially acceptable ways over time. One of the main strategies is the direct provision of food. In recent years, food aid has expanded in Israel, in particular through voluntary organizations. However, little is known about the extent of this form of activity in Arab localities, particularly since much of it is conducted through unofficial organizations. This, despite the fact that Arab households are more vulnerable than Jewish households to situations of food insecurity.

Given the lack of this vital information, the Forum to Address Food Insecurity and Poverty in Israel asked the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute and the Massar Institute for Research, Planning, and Social Counseling to conduct a comprehensive study of Arab food aid organizations in Israel.

The study was based on face-to-face interviews with representatives of the organizations providing food to needy Arab families. The issues addressed include:

  • How many Arab organizations distribute food aid and what is the scope of their activities?
  • What types of food are distributed, how are they distributed, and to what extent do the organizations have the infrastructure needed for effective distribution?
  • How are the organizations staffed and do they have enough staff to meet the needs?
  • To what extent could a national food bank and other national food organizations be of assistance to them?
  • In what ways are Arab food organizations different from their Jewish counterparts?

The study findings can be used by public, voluntary, and other organizations and agencies interested in strengthening Arab food aid organizations. The initial findings from the report have already served to establish links between national and Arab food organizations in order to create cooperation and expand their capacity to provide assistance.

The study was funded with the assistance of the Forum to Address Food Insecurity and Poverty in Israel, the Abraham and Sonia Rochlin Foundation, and the Klarman Family Foundation.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Philip, D., Hod-Ovadia, S., & Troen, A. M. (2017). A technical and policy case study of large-scale rescue and redistribution of perishable foods by the “Leket Israel” food bank. Food and nutrition bulletin38(2), 226-239.