A recent Israeli law that bans restaurants from charging customers to deliver food has left many Israelis with little choice but to rely on the free food service of their neighbourhood food markets, according to a recent survey by the Jerusalem Post.
The survey, conducted by a non-profit organization called Israel Food and Beverage Association (IFABA), found that 80% of Israelis surveyed said they were “in favour of providing free food to the needy.”
“Our study shows that Israel is becoming a hub of free food distribution in Israel,” IFABA President Daniela Yannan told The Jerusalem Times.
The group is pushing for the legislation to be revised and added to the Israeli Penal Code.
According to the legislation, restaurants must offer free food in the “public place” of their premises.
The service must be offered “to the needy” in order to qualify for the exemption.
Israel Food & Beverage Associations head Daniela Zuniga said that the government should have introduced the legislation when it came into force on May 1.
“We’re happy that the new government has introduced this law to improve the situation of the needy in Israel and make it easier for them to get food,” Zunigan told The Times of Israel.
“But we must also look at the way that we serve food.
We have to think about what our responsibility is as a society, what is the best way of serving the needy,” she added.
Zunigas group launched its campaign on May 17, saying it wanted to see the legislation enacted into law.
“The government should pass this legislation, and the food would be delivered to the people,” she said.
“A big part of the initiative is the issue of food distribution.
“And we want to help them in their time of need.” “
There are many people who don’t have a restaurant, or don’t want to spend a lot of money on food,” she continued.
“And we want to help them in their time of need.”
In a similar campaign launched by the Israel Food Policy Association, around a third of Israelis polled said they “don’t want any government subsidies or free food for the poor,” with 40% saying they “want to see food delivered to people at the same price as a regular customer,” according to the survey.
Israel is currently a net importer of food.
According the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2017, food imports were worth $1.3 billion, but the country was a net exporter of $2.2 billion.
According To the FAO, Israel imports over 90% of its food, while its food exports amount to just 6% of total food imports.
The FAO report also noted that in 2018, Israel imported $1 billion in food while it exported $1,200 million, and imports of Israeli dairy products were $4 million more than exports of dairy products.
Israel also imports more than 30% of the world’s grains, and its food production is responsible for over half of all the world grain production.
Israel has been a net consumer of grain in the past two decades, according the FA, but it has become a net producer of grain and animal feed.
However, it was the third year in a row that Israel exported more grain than grain, and it has been importing more grain from the United States than grain from other countries.
“While Israel’s grain exports were up, its grain imports from the US decreased,” the FA report stated.
“In 2019, Israel’s imports of wheat were up $1 million, while imports of grains from the U.S. were down $200,000.”
The FAOs survey was conducted from March 17 to April 10, with 1,004 Israeli adults aged 18 and older.
The margin of error for the total sample was 2.6 percentage points.
The Israel Food Association is also calling on the Israeli government to revise the legislation and add to the Penal Code the same regulations as the existing law.