Ariel makes a difference

September 8, 2017 Agencies
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Ariella Shohan, who immigrated to Israel from Sydney when she was eight years old, joined up with Jewish children from across the United States in a new video urging Americans to help feed hungry schoolchildren in Israel.

In the video, which rolled out on social media ahead of the new academic year the American children introduced themselves and showed viewers their favorite before-school breakfasts.

According to the Israeli government’s National Insurance Institute, there are 776,500 children living below the poverty line in Israel. Israeli nonprofit Nevet distributes some 1.3 million nutritious daily school breakfasts to 8,000 disadvantaged students at 130 schools across Israel.

There are still some 13,500 students on the organization’s waiting list – and many more who would benefit from a healthy, daily breakfast – and the new campaign aims to raise funds to meet this need.

“Most Israeli children go to school without eating breakfast at home – instead they are given sandwiches and snacks to eat during a mid-morning break,” said Rotem Yosef, vice president of strategic development for Nevet. “Unfortunately, many students from disadvantaged or dysfunctional backgrounds come to school hungry and empty handed – and that’s where Nevet steps in.”

A 2013 review in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience” found that eating breakfast positively affects learning in children in terms of behavior and school performance, and the effects of a nutritious breakfast are particularly pronounced in undernourished children. Over the past decade, students benefiting from school breakfast programs have seen a 17.5 percent raise in their overall math grades, according to Deloitte research. More than nine out of 10 principals at schools working with Nevet reported that their students are better behaved after eating their 10 a.m. meal, and that their absence rate dropped six percent.

“This hidden problem is about more than just nutrition or hunger. It’s also about establishing a healthy routine and creating a consistent nutritional anchor for the children every day. By feeding these kids breakfast, we feed their minds, giving them the opportunity to succeed and, hopefully, break the cycle of poverty,” said Yosef.

Those interested in donating to the campaign should visit: http://www.nevet.org/en/donations-back-to-school/.

 

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