The NPO Agency Relations Department is responsible for the ongoing relationship between Leket Israel and the hundreds of Leket partner NPOs. This is based on full transparency in our sharing of information. At the core of these partnerships is: collecting and distributing food throughout Israel, food safety guidance and assistance as well as ensuring ethical work standards and conduct. Additionally, the department also engages in collecting prepared food with Leket to Table, and collecting surplus food from manufacturers.
The Agency Relations Department follows a strict operational model whereby it carefully selects the agencies with which Leket Israel works. These NPOs must meet certain criteria. Once a partnership is formed, it entails regular visits and inspections from Leket field coordinators, professional guidance on issues of food safety and nutrition, and in some cases support for capacity building. All this in an effort to meet the NPO’s needs and supply them with food that best serves their clientele. Additionally, Leket Israel’s nutritionist runs professional workshops for NPO staff members and their recipients.
Leket to Table
Leket to Table is managed by the Agency Relations Department. Its mission is to rescue excess prepared meals from corporate cafeterias, IDF bases, hotels, banquet halls, food courts in malls, restaurants and other suppliers. The hot meals which include a protein and carbohydrates, are collected directly from food donors, then packed and delivered directly to NPOs and soup kitchens all over the country for immediate distribution.
In 2015, Leket to Table’s staff and volunteers rescued 1,750,000 meals for 40 Leket partner NPOs and soup kitchens.
The department’s field coordinators make frequent site visits to the NPOs to examine their work on different levels:
- In-depth examination: A comprehensive look at the NPO’s activity from when they first receive the produce from Leket Israel, through their packing of the food and their completion of the distribution process. Leket’s field inspector completes the appropriates paperwork, rating all the required parameters i.e. food safety regulations, distribution procedures etc.
- Food Safety Inspection: When visiting the NPOs, Leket Israel’s field inspector fills out a food safety survey, and the data is later calculated to grade the NPO on adherence to Leket Israel’s guidelines.
- Administrative visit: There visits are aimed at maintaining a close affiliation with the NPOs. The Leket coordinators hear the NPO’s needs, requests and feedback regarding their cooperation with Leket Israel. Coordinators also hand out different educational written materials.
The department’s staff collaborates with Leket Israel’s nutritionist to offer professional guide the NPOs’ teams on food safety and healthy nutrition. Together, they make recommendations on how to implement best work practices and efficient procedures.
In accordance with Leket Israel’s Infrastructure Improvement Committee’s decision, the Agency Relations Department and the Logistics Department assist Leket Israel’s partner NPOs to purchase and install upgraded equipment for safe and efficient food storage. This assistance allows the NPOs to serve their clientele better.
The department organizes annual NPO conferences, for all Leket partner NPO directors and staff. At these conferences, the participants are brought up to speed about Leket Israel’s activities, especially in the field of advocacy. They also receive food safety guidance from experts. In addition, Leket hosts another conference that is designated for NPOs that cook food in their facilities.
Leket to Table Operational Model
Hundreds of Leket Israel volunteers collect food every night from malls, bakeries, banquet halls and other suppliers, while the logistics team collects food during the day from corporate cafeterias, hotels and IDF bases. In some cases, Leket to Table coordinators refer the NPO representatives to execute direct food pickups.
Packing and Storage
All the rescued food is packed in designated trays or thermal food containers, and transferred directly to the nearest NPO, or to Leket’s refrigeration room.
Leket to Table’s staff manages the entire program, including: recruiting and assigning of food donors and volunteers, making the required coordination, safeguarding the implementation of strict food safety practice, ensuring that volunteers report on their food collection, as well as gathering the required documentation and registration.