Gaza: Emergency Food Parcels for Displaced
While bombs rain down on Gaza, ANERA’s in-kind team managed to deliver two shipments of food parcels to Gaza families. The first shipment was distributed in Deir Al Balah, Gaza City, and Beit Lahia. The second went to the southern Khan Younis and Rafah areas.
Mohammad Ghossein, ANERA project officer: “I go out despite the bombing. I keep thinking of people in need. We have to show them that they are not alone.”
With help from the Bayader Society and other local partners, and through word-of-mouth and phone calls, 950 families were able to pick up the much-needed parcels. Volunteers also risked their own lives to deliver parcels to residents’ homes where it was too dangerous for them to congregate outside.
The funds came from the Zakat Foundation of America and individual donors to respond quickly to emergency needs. ANERA was able to purchase everything locally from different suppliers. These parcels go beyond typical food relief and contain a variety of items such as lentils, macaroni, tuna fish, beans and cooking oil for families to make whole, healthy meals during Ramadan.
ANERA delivers emergency food parcels to 950 families in Gaza.
Mohammad Abu Migbel was grateful for the help as his family’s food supplies were running low. They had evacuated their home because the bombings were so near. “We heard huge explosions and our house was filled with rocks, dust and smoke. So we decided to escape at 11:00pm,” Mohammad explained with a grim look on his face. “We couldn’t wait any longer.”
The 54-year-old father of eight had been injured in the 2009 war, along with five of his family members. “We decided this time to evacuate our home and avoid danger. We went to a relative’s house in nearby Bani Suhaila.” But Mohammad is still worried. “We’re not sure if it’s the right decision because there is no safe place now anywhere.”
He described what it was like when he ventured out to receive ANERA’s food parcel. “The streets are deserted. Stores are closed. And, it dawned us that the people handing out the food parcels are not safe either. So we are doubly grateful.” With 20 family members crammed into one room and food running low, Mohammad was relieved that some aid was available. “The assistance came on time. We really needed it and will use it sparingly.”
Asmahan Fayad, also welcomed the food parcels. She had run barefoot from her home when the bombing started, along with her five children. “We left with nothing. Everyone went in different directions. I lost sight of my husband and ended up sleeping in front of a mosque with my kids.”
Then, she said someone offered them a shelter for few days.”UNRWA schools are overcrowded and I wasn’t sure where to go,”she explained. “My kids wake up at night to ask me if we are still alive. I just try to give them hope. But is this life?”
With funding from Zakat Foundation, ANERA was also able to deliver much-needed Ramadan food parcels to ten preschool teachers and 27 families in need in three West Bank villages. The families included mostly widows and divorced women with several children who had very little income to purchase such quantities of food.