Matanot L’Evyonim – Gifts to the Poor
This past Saturday at Tiyul: Shabbat B’yachad (TSBY), our community worked together to create matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) bags to give out at the SOVA food pantry. The tradition of matanot l’evyonim is a mitzvah of the holiday of Purim. This is because at the end of the Book of Esther, the holiday of Purim is established, and the text suggests (Esther 9:22) that we send gifts to the poor.
This year, our seventh graders have been working on a project around the issue of hunger. As a part of this program they organized this matanot l’evyonim project in order to create bags of food donations for the SOVA food pantry. The seventh graders set up stations for each food item. At each station, the seventh graders taught our families different facts about hunger, both locally and globally.
Station 1: Israel
- 1 in 5 children in Israel go to bed hungry at least once a week.
- Two in five Israeli children are living below the poverty line
- 22% of Israeli citizens are food insecure (aprox 1,100,000)
- Over 20% of Israeli elders live below the poverty line
Station 2: United States
- 19.4% of all the people in Mississippi were hungry in 2010
- In the US, 14.5% of households are hungry
- 1 in 6 people rely on the charity services for food (IE feeding America)
Station 3: Children
- A child dies from hunger related causes every 8 to 12 seconds
- 15.5 million children in America struggle with hunger in 2009
- For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years.
- 6% of children in the world die by age 5 from hunger, down from 28% only 50 years ago
Station 4: LA
- In Los Angeles, 8.9% of all seniors go to bed hungry every night
- In LA alone, close to 1 in 3 children live in extreme poverty
- Every day 30% of hunger needs in LA go unmet
Station 5: Worldwide
- Globally, 925 Million people are hungry; this is roughly 3 times the population of the United States.
- 2.6 billion worldwide people live on less than $2 a day
- 24 thousand people globally die of hunger each day, that’s 15 million per year.
- 1/3 of the world’s population is starving
- Worldwide, someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds
Station 6: Developing Word
- The infant mortality rate is twice that of the United States
- In developing and third world countries 1.4 billion people live on $1.25 per day, down from $1.90 in 1981.
- Chronic malnutrition is the cause of approximately 90% of hunger related deaths
In the end, we were able to create 50 bags, about 300 lbs. of food, to donate to SOVA this Purim. You can see the process in our photos below.