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Israeli gov’t launches $25 million food aid program

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a $25 million government food aid program.

The initiative was presented Monday at a news conference in Jerusalem.

The money reportedly will be used to provide debit cards to purchase food in place of food baskets. The program also will establish a committee to create an ethical code for food charities to follow.

Food charities for years have called on the Israeli government to assist in feeding families living in poverty. 

At a separate news conference Monday on nutritional security, Netanyahu cited data presented by National Insurance Institute Director-General Shlomo Mor-Yosef showing that poverty had declined.

Netanyahu said poverty declined because the government "intervened here with two populations, the elderly and the handicapped, and I think that this is very significant."

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