Zimbabwe? Angola? Bangladesh? It’s here!
Yes, even Israel, which runs headlines on overweight issues and sugar content, the country that publishes articles on luxury restaurants, has hungry people. Yes, even here and now, in the 21st century, there are children and adults who go to bed expecting something to eat… which only comes up in their dreams. At Chasdei Yossef, we are exposed to a reality that looks like it was taken out of developing countries, but it unfortunately does really exists.
We all understand that food is not only what we have (or not have) on our plates. When there’s food – there’s life. There’s security. When a man wanders around and his mind is preoccupied with existential issues, he cannot deal with anything else. Physical existence is the basic and foremost condition for leading a normal life. Among all the charities and works that Chasdei Yossef runs, the creation and operation of the soup kitchen 40 years ago was the organization’s first life work, which is the soul and beating heart to this day.
In keeping with the association’s motto “A future-creating support cycle”, our creation begins from the first and fundamental stage – safeguarding the nutritional security of every individual seeking our help.
From torture to change
Chasdei Yossef soup kitchen serves a warm, tasty, diverse and nourishing meal every single day. In the soup kitchen, hundreds of needy individuals dine daily, young and old, loners and the elderly, who come from all corners of the city. For most of them it is the only meal they’ll have for the day. The meal, handed out at a high service and aesthetics level, consists of all the essential food elements. The menu is designed with the help of a certified nutritionist. By that, the meal forms a vital and essential basis for continued function in all areas of life.
More than something to take home…
In addition to the meals served at the soup kitchen’s dining hall, hundreds of additional meals are packaged and sent out to homes of families. Some of them require that due to prolonged complex living conditions, while others due to temporary troubled circumstances or disease. Among them are large families, whose packaged food from the soup kitchen is almost the only food source being served on their table throughout the day.
In many homes, the mere existence of the prepared rations does not only form food security but beyond that – it extends a bridge to a normal life, parental functioning, a sense of family and an atmosphere of a true home.
…And much more than something to eat
In Chasdei Yossef soup kitchen, everyone is treated warmly and cordially, a genuine one-on-one interest and personal acquaintance, as well as a delicious meal. We are mindful that many of those in need are poor and lonely, and that staying at the soup kitchen is the only social interaction they have on that day. Here, feelings of rejection and misery are left behind, before walking down the five steps that take them to the dining hall. Here, they are received with respect and love and feel a great sense of belonging. Here, everyone smiles, and there are no barriers between those who give and those who receive. Here, many of those who needed food over a period of time had their lives rehabilitated by recruiting to the volunteer network of Chasdei Yossef, which gave them a new reason to live. Here, they began to live their lives all over again.