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Over half of Israel’s Holocaust survivors require food handouts — survey

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Over half of the Holocaust survivors living in Israel require food handouts, with many saying they don’t have the funds to pay for essentials such as eyeglasses and hearing aids, a survey released Wednesday ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day has found.

In a poll conducted by the Holocaust Survivors’ Welfare Fund, 51 percent of respondents said they relied on food given to them by various charities, with a third saying they were in “dire need” of the assistance.

According to the poll, many Holocaust survivors say they are forced to give up essentials in order to have enough money for food. Forty-three percent of respondents said they didn’t have enough money for spectacles, 33% said they couldn’t afford dental care and 27% said they couldn’t pay for hearing aids.

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The number of Holocaust survivors in Israel requiring financial assistance has risen in recent years. Israeli volunteer Sharon Yaron, left, brings a cake to 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Sara Weinsten during a visit to her house in Yavne, Israel, October 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

According to a State Comptroller report released in October, there were 51,175 survivors who receive yearly grants — 70% of the total — who require additional financial benefits “to live with dignity,” up from 67% in 2017.

Additionally, the report said that between 2018 and 2019, the Welfare Ministry only disbursed 30% of the NIS 30 million ($8.8 million) set aside for survivors eligible to receive income assistance.........

© The Times of Israel

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