The Jewish Advocate discusses Leket Israel’s food rescue leading up to Rosh Hashannah:
It is expected that the organization will feed over 175,000 people, including children and Holocaust survivors, during the Jewish holidays.
More than 1,200 tons of produce is 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) 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 produce that is donated by farmers and 2.4 million hot meals that are donated by hotels, army bases, event halls, and so on.
“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, 1.3 million tons of which can be rescued” said Joseph Gitler, Leket’s founder and chairman.
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,” he said. “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.”