Stas, a Leket Israel driver, arrives every day at 2pm at the corporate dining room Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, a defense company, where the food is provided by Idit Catering. “We have been working with Leket Israel for the past 6 months,” Yossi Ben David, Director of Northern Operations at Idit Catering, states. “Stas brings us the trays, we fill them with the meals that remain from lunch, and he transports them in a refrigerated vehicle to Leket Israel’s new hub, Arucha Chama (“Hot Meal”) in Kiryat Ata. Working together is very satisfying. Knowing that these cooked meals are not going to waste and will impact the lives of hundreds of residents in the area, moves me every time.”
The success of Leket’s food rescue operations relies on the partnership with the catering company, in addition to other factors. Ran Katzman, CEO of Idit Catering, observes: “We live in a world that where we must prepare large amounts of food, creating a surplus, despite the fact that we are constantly trying to cook only what we need. We are happy to donate the nutritious, high-quality excess food to those in need.”
The excess food is collected from Rafael’s dining room. It is then sent to the Leket Israel hub at Arucha Chama, a distribution center for the cooked food. With Leket Israel’s support, Arucha Chama’s activities have been expanded and its infrastructure capacity increased, thereby helping a greater number of those in need. In addition to providing cooked meals to five nonprofits in the surrounding area, the hub also distributes fresh agricultural produce rescued by Leket Israel. Through the creation of this hub, Leket Israel is able to improve the lives of many more people regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, including seniors and Holocaust survivors, families, and patients undergoing a drug rehabilitation.
“Knowing that we provide a nutritious and delicious meal for people who would not otherwise have access to such healthy food is a wonderful feeling,” Ran concludes with a smile. “All this work connects to the soul of the company, of people helping people.”