Formula card
Formula card Colel Chabad

Even as global supply and prices of infant formula have begun stabilizing, for thousands of Israeli families the cost of the critical nutritional staple remain overwhelming. In response, the National Food Security Initiative, funded by the Israeli Welfare Ministry together with Colel Chabad, has recently launched an initiative to provide baby formula deliveries to the homes of families in need.

The newly-launched phase of the Initiative, starting with 3,150 families, was announced at a meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday hosted by Minister of Welfare Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) together with Rabbi Mendy Blau, Israel Director of Colel Chabad and representatives from the city of Jerusalem’s welfare division. According to data presented at the meeting, infant formula is one of the most commonly shoplifted items, reflecting the desperation parents see to obtain an item which is critical for their children’s very survival.

V., a single mother of 2 who attended the meeting explained how her monthly salary as a store cashier is almost entirely used up as soon as the monthly rent transfer is made. “I do everything I possibly can for my children and I work hard but we literally live moment to moment and I have no idea how I’m going to manage the next set of bills,” she said. “This type of help provided by the food security of program is so important for so many parents and gives us the help we desperately need with care and respect.”

Colel Chabad, as Israel’s longest continuously-running charity founded in 1788, will see to the distribution of no less than 180,000 containers of infant formula, with each family receiving five packages of 700 grams each month. Participating families will be able to call a hotline or go online to request the support for the type of formula they use, with the containers delivered to their home within three working days.

Minister Cohen saluted the partnership between the government, Colel Chabad, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the Blavatnik Food Bank, and the Arison Foundation, describing it as the fulfillment of a “social contract.”

“To witness the pain of young mothers who are trying their utmost to care for their families but continue to face daily challenges to simply feed their children, reminds us of how we are obligated as a nation to provide our citizens with a safety net in difficult times,” he said. “If we aren’t able to provide for the needy members of our society, then we won’t be able to thrive and grow as a country.”

Rabbi Shalom Duchman, Director of Colel Chabad said, “Our goal for all these years has been to identify areas where there is a particular need that might otherwise be overlooked and be there to respond. To identify even a small percentage of the population that needs a very basic need. That’s what this program is about. To think that otherwise honest and law-abiding parents are being forced to steal to feed their children is something which can’t exist in our modern society.”

Minister Meir Cohen- back center - with Rabbi Mendy Blau of Colel Chabad and welfare coordinators
Minister Meir Cohen- back center - with Rabbi Mendy Blau of Colel Chabad and welfare coordinators Colel Chabad