A full one-third of all Israelis are so poor they cannot even purchase all of the essential foods that make up a basic diet, according to a government report issued on Monday.
Prepared by an inter-ministerial committee and presented by Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog, the report concluded that over 30 percent of Israelis are suffering from "nutritional insecurity," or a lack of sufficient access to nourishing foods in sufficient amounts.
Ha'aretz quoted Herzog as calling for a tenfold increase in government funding for non-governmental organizations involved in food aid to remedy the problem. Herzog insisted that Israel must safeguard its character as a welfare state.
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