Survey shows increase in hungry children within Israeli education system
Overall academic performance and behavior of students improved
A survey released by Israeli non-profit organization NEVET showed a spike in the number of students in need of food this year.
NEVET, which provides daily meals for over 11,000 Israeli schoolchildren, discovered a correlation between higher scores and proper nutrition, according to The Jerusalem Post. While the survey indicated a positive trend in academic performance and students’ behavior, it showed the Covid pandemic having a grave effect on children living in a state of food insecurity.
"Since 2019 our activities have increased by 30 percent but in large part, due to Corona, the scope of poverty has grown even faster and the negative impacts on children have been enormous," Rotem Yosef-Giladi, CEO of NEVET, was quoted as saying.
She added that providing schoolchildren with nutritious food could help them succeed both academically and socially.
"We regularly speak to local community leaders and Knesset members as well as philanthropists who share our vision to simply provide a sandwich to each kid who needs it, which not only gives them nutrition but also self-confidence and the ability to thrive in their educational frameworks," Yosef-Giladi said.
While Israel’s teachers’ union continues a nationwide strike for a second day in a row, 1.5 million of Israeli children will not attend classes on Thursday, which leaves hungry students without school meals.
“While teachers obviously deserve to be paid and we support that effort, we need to be fully aware of the larger picture of the damage that these strikes are doing," Yosef-Giladi warned.
Israeli teachers began a partial strike last week due to disagreements over their demands for wages and working conditions with a complete strike starting earlier on Wednesday. The protest affects kindergartens and elementary schools.