How Much Food is Required to Close the Food Security Gap in Israel?
Israel’s Ranking in Inequality and Food Insecurity Indexes
- Food Availability
Having a consistent supply of food in sufficient quantities.
- Food accessibility
Having enough resources to obtain enough food.
- Food Use
Having adequate water and sanitation conditions and knowing how to use food properly.
Food Expenditure per Capita in Israel in Relation to Normative Food Expenditure – Percentile Distribution
Using these criteria, which are primarily subjective, a report prepared by the NII (30) estimates that approximately 16% of Israel’s population suffers from food insecurity; of this number, 8.2% are in severe food insecurity, and an additional 8% in moderate or mild food insecurity.
According to The Economist’s Global Food Security Index 2021, Israel is ranked 12th in food insecurity among OECD member states. Among OECD countries, Israel ranks 6th in household expenditure on food.
Food expenses’ share in the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) in Israel is among the highest in the world, measured at 17%. Therefore, a policy of food rescue and distribution to the underprivileged population would be an especially effective welfare policy in Israel, where a significant portion of household expenditure is allocated to food.
The definition of food security is subjective. To examine whether food rescue would be an effective policy for increasing food security in Israel, this report uses the methodology of Chernichovsky and Regev (31), which defines normative food expenditure as the level of a household’s food expenditure that remains constant even when the household’s income increases.
The volume of food required to bridge the gap between the actual consumption level of food insecure populations and the normative consumption level (i.e. the average consumption of the second to fifth percentiles), is valued at approximately NIS 3.3 billion. The cost of eliminating this food expenditure gap for populations that are highly food insecure (8.2% of Israeli households) is estimated at approximately NIS 2.5 billion, and another NIS 0.8 billion is required to close the gap for moderately food insecure populations.