Leket Israel 'rescues' food for needy during High Holidays
RA’ANANA, Israel—Leket Israel, the national food bank and the largest nonprofit food rescue organization in Israel is increasing its activity to rescue food for the needy this High Holiday season. It is expected that the organization will feed over 175,000 people, including children and Holocaust survivors during the Jewish holidays. Due to the growing demand on Leket’s nonprofit partners before the holidays, Leket is collecting larger quantities of food, particularly before Rosh Hashanah. More than 1,200 tons of fruit and vegetables are expected to be rescued, one quarter of which (300 tons) will be apples to fulfill the holiday custom of dipping apples in honey for a sweet new year.
Ahead of the high holidays, the organization started a donation campaign on its website and for every 4 NIS (1 USD) that are donated, Leket rescues 10 pounds of fresh farm-grown produce that is provided to the needy. Each year, Leket Israel rescues 15,000+ tons of fruit and vegetables that are donated by farmers and 2.4 million hot meals that are donated by hotels, army bases, event halls, etc.
“According to Leket Israel’s Food Waste and Rescue Report, 2.5 million tons of food go to waste each year at a cost of 18 billion NIS,” said Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s Founder and Chairman. “1.3 million tons of which can be rescued to benefit those in need. With the ever increasing demands on our nonprofit partners to provide more food for the growing number of Israel’s poor, it is Leket Israel’s primary mission to access this surplus to better meet the need of Israel’s food insecure.”
Gitler added that one of the great misconceptions of Israel is that while the nation’s overall economy is strong, poverty and hunger still exist in many parts of society.
“We are the Start-Up Nation, and yes we have a flourishing middle class. However, there are still many pockets of our society where people struggle every day to put food on their tables for their families. The problem is even more acute in sectors of the country with high unemployment, and with the elderly and Holocaust survivors who live on very small pensions. They desperately need our help,” he added.
Leket Israel-The National Food Bank is the leading food rescue non-profit organization that rescues fresh, perishable food, which would otherwise be considered waste, from farms, hotels, military bases and catering halls in an effort to aid the quarter of the country’s population that lives below the poverty line. The organization works with 195 non-profits throughout the country. For more information and for donations, please visit http://www.leket.org.