• Is it possible that in Israel, startup capital of the world, some people really have nothing to eat?
    • Unfortunately, yes. And there are more starving people in Israel than most could imagine. One volunteer told us how the people getting our bread ate only that as breakfast, lunch and supper. Everything else was out of their budget. Beneficiaries tell us they use the money they save to buy yogurts, milk, fruit and vegetables. Not steak. Not even chicken. They buy the most basic staples every home with young children requires. And they are able to afford those basics when we cover the cost of the bread for them. According to Ha’aretz news, “Since Israel joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the grouping of the world’s developed nations, the OECD has noted, on a yearly basis, that Israel’s poverty rate is the highest in the West and the second highest of all its member countries.”

  • Why bread as opposed to any other food?
    • Bread is the cheapest way to give life. For 3.5 shekel, we can get a loaf of bread. More importantly, since the poor must physically line up to collect the bread we distribute, it helps minimizes fraudsters and impostors. Bread is also convenient because it needs no cooking and freezes well. It’s also something everyone needs to buy anyway. It’s a huge savings for the recipients because the money they keep in their wallet can buy other basic essentials like milk. Bread for Israel is also tapping into the delivery infrastructure of bread throughout the country, so we get the bread with no additional fees like delivery costs. Bread for Israel gets the bread at a 60% discount, so we have a big advantage over the individual who would buy bread for himself. The discount we get enables us to provide more bread to more people in need.

  • How does the organization function if the money all goes directly to buy bread?
    • Kindhearted volunteers man our locations in every city; any overhead costs of keeping the organization afloat are funded by a private sponsor in America.

  • How do I know if the bread is going to the right people?
    • Every neighborhood in Israel has volunteer organizations that take care of their city’s poor. These organizations are known as a “kuppah” and their expertise is in properly identifying each poor family. We partner with those organizations, as they are in the know and on the turf. For someone to come and take bread for fraud is unusual. The only kind of person who would put their food before their dignity to take bread is someone who truly needs it. The volunteers of Bread for Israel are extremely dedicated and they take care of ordering the bread and letting the needy recipients know the distribution details. On the day of the distribution they get a call from the bakery truck driver to arrange the exact time of delivery. The volunteers are on hand to accept the delivery and they distribute the bread in person. They see to it that the bread gets into the right hands. In some locations the bread is delivered to the recipients’ doors. We institute quality control by visiting the locations to see in person how things are going and if any changes need to be implemented.

  • How do the people who really need know there will be a distribution?
    • Each distribution point has its own methods for getting the word out. In Rechasim, signs are hung in places frequented by the city’s poorest. In the Zichron Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem, the volunteer, Yisroel, calls each family individually to let them know about the distribution. In the Beis Yisroel neighborhood of Jerusalem a tele-message goes out to all the families that are part of the neighborhood charity fund.

  • Who does the bread go to?
    • Bread for Israel was established to address Jewish hunger in Israel. The only requirement to get bread is for the people be Jewish, regardless of their religious practice or affiliation.

  • Do you give out anything else besides white bread?
    • We have an option to give whole wheat bread to those with dietary requirements. There are elderly people that have been advised by their doctors to stay away from white bread. For example, there is a community with an elderly population living near Sorotzkin 33. They receive 200 loaves of whole wheat bread each month. Additionally, there are locations that distribute challahs before Shabbos every week.

  • Can I fulfill my requirements to give charity by donating to Bread for Israel? Can I use maaser money for this cause?
    • Yes! Bread for Israel is actually one of the highest forms of charity. We give ready-to-eat food to those who need it, and they don’t have to put in any effort to go to the store and buy the food. They get it close to their homes, in a dignified manner. They are constantly sending us letters and messages to tell us how appreciative and grateful they are, and how helpful and necessary the bread is for them. One such story was told to us by a volunteer in Rechasim: She asked a women in the community, “How does getting 5 loaves of bread a month help you? That’s only a savings of 35 shekel, can that make such a major dent in your finances?” The women responded, “The very fact that you can ask such a questions shows that you don’t appreciate how dire our situation is. The bread is such a tremendous help and really keeps us going. For us a 35 shekel savings is not something we can afford to take lightly. Bread that lasts us through the month is a tremendous deal and keeps our family from going hungry.” The volunteer said that until then she had wondered if it was a cause worth dedicating her time to. After hearing the women’s response she understood how great an impact she was having.

  • I am a numbers person. Can you tell me the exact costs, figures, and facts?
    • We distribute approximately 100,000 loaves per month to 89 drop-off points in 29 cities from as North as Tzfas to as South as Yeruchum. The city with the most distribution points is Jerusalem, with a total of 34 locations. As we get fresh bread 60% off retail, we pay only 3.6 versus 7.2 shekel.