Jerusalem is the poorest city in Israel. During the economic crisis that erupted in the wake of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, many Jerusalemites lost their jobs and faced economic hardships. Many parents lacked the means to feed their children adequately and were sending their children to school without the proper nourishment.
Teachers began noticing that children in class were restless and were having trouble concentrating. Surveys established the link between the lack of appropriate food and the ability to concentrate.
In 2001 Marion Kunstenaar was approached by a school to pay for the lunch of one pupil for one year. Understanding the need, Mrs Kunstenaar established Yad Elie- an organization of mostly Jewish religious Jerusalemites dedicated to provide food to needy children in the Jerusalem school system regardless of their creed or background.
In the course of the last 13 years Yad Elie has been feeding a growing number of Jewish and Arab schoolchildren. Yad Elie hopes that in this way the children will do better in school and will have a better chance of making their way out of the cycle of poverty.