“Anticipate charity by preventing poverty.” (Maimonides)
Even as the world moves well into the 21st century, hunger in the Former Soviet Union is still an ever-looming threat. The agricultural sector is beset by unpredictable climate and productivity; and the fear, stress, and hardship that accompany the lack of food, lead to illness, truancy and shame. A society can hardly function under the specter of hunger.
One of the primary functions of the Federation for Jewish Communities has been the distribution of food parcels to needy children. Candidates are selected by the Jewish community and its leaders, based on health (physical or mental) or domestic criteria (homeless, single or no parent family), income, or other special needs.
Distributed jointly with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the packaged supplies of staples, such as flower, oil, sugar, meat, tea, etc. enable recipients to spend their own money on other products, such as whole grain, fruits and vegetables. But often, these parcels constitute the child’s main source of nutrition throughout the month. For them, they ensure healthy physical and mental growth, and provide nutritional elements often lacking due to the harsh Soviet weather and climate. The result is joy and happiness in a child’s life, and removing the fears and stress enables them to continue with school and their lives.