The IDF is an integral part of Israeli society, bringing young people from very different communities throughout the country together. At the same time, the Israeli military relies heavily on its civilian population for support, probably more so than any other army worldwide.
For example, the IDF doesn’t provide its soldiers with basic needs such as laundry service, relying on the soldier’s parents to perform these tasks. The same goes for homemade meals and other basic amenities relating to room and board.
That’s also why Israeli soldiers are sent on leave so often – because the army assumes the families they go home to will provide basic necessities. Many IDF troops go on leave every weekend or every other week where they enjoy home-cooked Shabbat meals the army can’t provide. The Israeli military is structured to rely on the soldier’s families to fill in basic services the IDF can’t provide.
But what about soldiers without families in Israel?
What happens to those who come from abroad to volunteer their service?
Who tends to the needs of Israel’s foreign warriors who made Aliyah, who don’t have parents nearby to cook them homemade meals?
About 7,000 soldiers currently serving in the IDF do not have families to care for them. Nearly 45% of these soldiers come from abroad, while others are orphans, were raised in abusive homes, or are from families that disowned them when they decided to join the military.
Unfortunately, the IDF hasn’t invested sufficient resources into solving this problem. That’s why Meir Panim steps in to fill the gap.
Meir Panim has established Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens and Meals-On-Wheels programs across Israel for those suffering from food insecurity. In addition, they provide hot Shabbat meals, holiday meals, and food and care packages to soldiers in Israel along with activities and programs at their nationwide branches.
Soldiers know that they can always count on Meir Panim for a warm welcome and a hot, delicious meal. Every soldier needing support, whether a combat soldier, a new recruit, or a disabled veteran having trouble making ends meet, can turn to Meir Panim for assistance.
Unlike the IDF, Meir Panim is a privately funded organization and must rely on donations from friends of Israel around the world to support their critical mission.
Offering Shabbat or holiday meals to IDF soldiers through Meir Panim is a meaningful way to show support and appreciation for the service members protecting Israel’s borders.
Are you able to help the IDF’s most vulnerable soldiers? If you can, please consider donating to Meir Panim today.