Irit Levy, 17, remembers the night that she and her friends decided to sleep over at Meir Panim’s Sderot Youth Center. “After four “Tzeva Adom” red alert sirens,” Irit explained, “my friends and I decided it would be safest to spend the night at the youth center; a converted bomb shelter.” Upon arrival, Irit and her friends were ushered in, by smiling reassuring staff members and volunteers. Tables of refreshments were set up, along with games and activities.
Passover is a particularly challenging time for Sderot residents. Meir Panim’s professional staff has been working hard to meet the herculean task of providing Passover food baskets and personalized shopping cards to traumatized and impoverished individuals and families.
Meir Panim’s Youth Center: Refuge from Hunger and Terrorism
Following 10 years of rocket fire aimed toward Sderot, the city nicknamed the “Bomb Shelter Capital of the World,” enjoyed a few years respite. Unfortunately, terrorism has returned to the area with a vengeance, and the city of Sderot, with a population of more than 26,000, is suffering.
It is clear why so many other teens, kids, and families had sought out shelter at Meir Panim. Irit explained to Breaking Israel News, “We all feel so at home here. Many local children are enrolled in the after-school program, where they receive free lunch, one-on-one tutoring, and fun activities. My friends and I love playing pool, participating in fun workshops and volunteering in community service opportunities.”
“The financial stability of so many families has been shattered, explained Mimi Rosmaryn Director of Global Development at Meir Panim to Breaking Israel News, “we are desperately trying to ease their financial burdens, associated with the Passover holiday by providing Passover necessities like matzah to individuals and families.”
“It costs $1,000 a year to feed one hungry child,” continued Rosmaryn, “Normalizing the lives of Sderot’s poverty-stricken citizens is our top priority.”
“I recently met a family” Rosmaryn continued, “whose children attend our after school hours club. The father is gainfully employed at a nearby factory, but only earns about 4,000 shekels ($1,000) per month, is trying to pay bills and feed a family with five traumatized children.”
This Passover, Take A Stand Against Hunger
We will shortly start the Passover Seder and proclaim, “All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover!”
This Passover, Take A Stand Against Hunger! Help Meir Panim fulfill its mission of providing a feeling of freedom from poverty, hunger, and loneliness to the people of Sderot’s neediest individuals. Say NO to hunger, by becoming a monthly donor and ensuring that Sderot’s hungry and needy receive lunch – every day.
We Need YOUR Help!
Give $45, and Meir Panim can serve 10 lunches.
Give $135, and Meir Panim can serve 30 lunches.
Together, let’s distribute hot lunches to children, meals at our Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen, and deliver Meals-On-Wheels to Sderot’s homebound, disabled and elderly.
Just as the Ancient Hebrews were delivered from Egyptian bondage, let us do our part to help free those who continue to suffer the scourge of poverty in Israel.
Especially the impoverished families facing daily terror in the city of Sderot.
Written in cooperation with Meir Panim.
To donate to Meir Panim’s Passover Campaign, please click here.