Some 10,000 food parcels were distributed by Pitchon Lev (“Open Heart”) to about 50,000 needy families during the organization’s annual pre-holiday food distribution marathon on Thursday.
A team of volunteers at one of Pitchon Lev’s distribution centers in Rishon Lezion assembled all the necessary components for a holiday meal: fish, wine, meat, apples, honey, pomegranates, challahs, desserts and more.
Preparation for the marathon began in July, when the NGO began collecting supplies, resources and volunteers to assemble and distribute the parcels ahead of the holidays.
Despite Thursday’s marathon accomplishment, Pitchon Lev’s founder and CEO, Nissim Zioni, believes it can get better.
“I continue to call on the public to open their hearts, especially during these days,” he said. “It is not just the Israeli public that should lead with its generosity and help with donations to needy families. The reality is that every year, another 100,000 people are added into the cycle of poverty. The government must begin to take care of this.”
Pitchon Lev has provided meals for some 250,000 families every year since 1998. The group holds their distribution marathons twice a year – before Rosh Hashana and Passover – in two locations: Rishon Lezion and Karmiel.
Zioni lauded those who took place in Thursday’s events, as well as “the warm and giving hearts of the Israeli people.”
“If the government could act like the public in Israel, all the people in Israel, I can promise you, we could have ended poverty here many, many years ago. But the true and sad picture is that they don’t really care about poor people and they are not doing enough,” he told The Jerusalem Post.
Tuesday, September 19, Pitchon Lev will hold another food distribution marathon in Karmiel, where volunteers will be handing out some 10,000 additional food parcels to needy families in the North.