Meir Panim has a unique philosophy, says Mimi Rozmaryn, Director of Global Development, which extends to both clients and benefactors. âMeir Panim was founded to create a positive experience for its recipients, to give with dignity and respect so that there is an elimination of the stigma of being on the recipient’s side. It is a principle that guides everything we do. Supporters of the organization, she explains, are helping Meir Panim accomplish this mission of giving in a respectful way that helps people feel whole again, not just because the organization provides them with food. to eat, but because Meir Panim is attentive to their social and emotional needs. also.
Mimi says the global effects of the pandemic have led to a better understanding of those who need it. âDuring Corona, people started to understand and feel more sympathetic towards charities that meet basic needs. The images people saw around the world resonated. Additionally, she suggests, within families, people discuss the need to help others. As a result, she adds, âI’ve seen a lot more conversations and a lot more children coming to volunteer with families in our communities – something we haven’t seen as much before. ”
Mimi notes that volunteering for Meir Panim at their centers across Israel is a valuable form of philanthropy. âAnyone, whatever their level of ability and financial means, can come and make a difference and help give back to the community. She notes that people from all walks of life have come to Meir Panim’s centers and volunteered their time, talents and abilities to prepare food, serve and deliver meals, and maintain the premises. âSo many people give in every way they can – and it’s amazing,â she says. A restaurant owner whose business was closed during Corona, Mimi says, came to one of the Meir Panim centers and taught staff how to turn a food warming center into a kitchen center, which was essential. at a time when Meir Panim could not rely on leftovers. hotels and events.
Although the immediate effects of the pandemic have abated somewhat since last year, Meir Panim still knows a growing number of people turning to her for help. âWe still support many families in the hospitality and tourism industry who need help,â she says.
Due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, many who volunteered for Meir Panim in the past have had to turn to Meir Panim for help when times get tough. A project funded by the Miami Jewish Federation allowed people to receive a box of ingredients that left their dignity intact. âWe have prepared a pantry bag of shelf-stable ingredients to prepare the food,â says Mimi. “That way they felt a bit more normal, as opposed to if they were given boxes of pre-cooked food.” Meir Panim’s goal, explains Mimi, “is to break the cycle of poverty – not only to help them meet their basic needs, but to heal, to feel worthy and to be part of a community – to uplift them. in their moment of crisis.
Meir Panim achieves this goal, says Mimi, always welcoming customers with a warm smile. âWe’re not asking any questions. We don’t look at what people wear or make assumptions about them. Our whole philosophy is an extension of that. Even if someone wears nice clothes, we don’t make assumptions about their needs. Everyone who enters is welcome. “
Meir Panim does more than offer a smile and a warm meal. Meir Panim Neighborhood Youth Centers in Sderot provide a safe haven for adolescents at risk, where young people can learn to lead healthy and productive lives as caring individuals and members of the community. Last year, Meir Panim opened a chef training workshop in Dimona to help provide career options for at-risk youth, and he will soon be launching a vocational training program for women who currently work as housekeepers for help them retrain and launch new careers. âWe are creating initiatives that help retrain both the current generation of workers as well as the next generation,â says Mimi.
âThis year we were able to do so much more,â says Mimi. She is grateful to the many volunteers who have contributed in so many ways to help Meir Panim help those in need. âWe want to give as much as possible. “