No one wants to be seen collecting handouts…
The heartbreaking scenes of people waiting in long lines at food pantries have become increasingly common. Struggling families, destitute elderly and Holocaust survivors deserve to receive aid with dignity.
Meir Panim’s commitment to preserve the dignity of the poor
Meir Panim is steadfast in its commitment to preserve the dignity of the poor in Israel. To help disadvantaged individuals purchase the basic necessities needed to survive, Meir Panim distributes prepaid shopping cards, resembling credit cards, before the High Holidays and Passover.
With the cards in hand, recipients can shop at major food chains and purchase the foods and home goods that they need in order to support themselves and their families, without feeling the embarrassment of collecting handouts. The cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol or cigarettes. This method of assistance keeps true to Meir Panim’s careful attention to preserving the dignity and autonomy of the recipient.
The food shopping cards are designed to help people who work but still cannot make ends meet, those who are temporarily out of work and actively seeking employment, and elderly Holocaust survivors. The cards also grant families facing considerable hardship a degree of dignity and equality, and help them avoid being labeled as poor. It is a form of supplemental aid which maintains the self-respect of the recipients.