The monthy update for our most dedicated supporters from Gidi Kroch
After the tremendous success of our Good Deeds Day and Open Pick Day in March, we are incredibly pleased that our fields keep filling up! Between the increasing numbers of volunteers at the Logistics Center, the fields in Binyamina, Nahalal and at Hatov ve’Hameytiv, we have volunteers coming all the time from all over the world. Additionally, by opening our new delivery route in the north, we were able to establish partnerships with even more companies and organizations ensuring more food rescued and more people fed. All of this was accomplished even though April was a short month due to all the holidays that occurred during this month.
In this edition:
- Spotlight on a Leket NPO Partner: Soup Kitchen Nes Tziona
- Renewed Partnership with the Kibbutz Movement
- Tomatoes in Binyamina
- Bedouin Nutrition Workshop
- Visit from Maryland Food Bank CEO
- Power BI by Microsoft
- Leket’s Corporate Responsibility Conference
- Leket Live Mission
- New Food Donors – April 2018
Spotlight on a Leket NPO Partner: Soup Kitchen Nes Tziona
Although the organization Soup Kitchen Nes Tziona has been around for 60 years, it was only in the last 25 years that the soup kitchen itself has been open for the local community to come and receive a hot meal. “We used to deliver packaged goods to the recipients directly but we realized that most are unable to cook for themselves so the food was going to waste,” says Rabbi Sagi the Director of the Soup Kitchen. “What’s most helpful to people is offering a place where we serve hot nutritious meals that they can eat on site or take home with them and know that they’re being taken care of.”
The fresh produce that Leket Israel provides enables the Soup Kitchen to cook healthy meals for approximately 180 people per day. Many come to eat in the cafeteria or bring food home to their families. For others who are housebound, the Soup Kitchen provides a delivery service to their homes. Additionally, any produce that has not been used by Thursday is available for the community to take home.
Not only does the Soup Kitchen provide food during the week but they also ensure that their community is taken care of during Shabbat and holidays as well. This past Passover, the Soup Kitchen hosted a Seder for over 200 people. They were also the only soup kitchen in the area open throughout the holiday ensuring that people were fed the entire week of the holiday.
“We want to make people feel as though they are eating in a restaurant,” says Rabbi Sagi. “We prepare the food with love, we make sure that they’re receiving a nutritious meal and feel respected. With the help of Leket Israel we are able to take care of our community and that is the most important thing to us.”
Renewed Partnership with the Kibbutz
For many years, Leket Israel has worked with farmers from kibbutzim and moshavim all over the country who graciously donate their surplus crops for us to distribute to our 200 NPO partners. So far, these farmers have been individuals who have decided to cooperate with Leket on their own, however, as of this month Leket Israel has renewed its partnership with the Kibbutz Movement. From now on, Leket will have a representative who will act as a liaison between our field staff and the many kibbutzim around the country. This new cooperation will help Leket increase its number of partnerships with farmers and grow the amount of food we are able to rescue and distribute to those in need.
Tomatoes in Binyamina
When Leket received the generous donation of the Binyamina field we realized that we had a unique opportunity to grow vegetables that are most sought after by our NPO partners and have the chance to supply them year round. These vegetables are described as the “Israeli Salad.” In our hothouses over the past two months Leket has been growing cucumbers and we are pleased to announce that as of this month we have begun growing tomatoes as well. Being able to grow vegetables that we know are essential to healthy eating in Israel as well as vegetables we know that people will truly appreciate enables Leket to have an even bigger impact on helping to feed the needy nutritious food.
Bedouin Nutrition Workshops
The month of April saw ten nutrition workshops hosted by Leket dietitians around the country. Of these ten workshops, three of them were given in Arabic to Bedouin communities in the Negev. The workshops were geared toward teaching the audience of youth and women at risk to make healthier choices when cooking or choosing food. We are now working with two Bedouin dietitians who have developed nutrition aides, which have been translated into Arabic and were handed out to the attendees of the workshops so that they will have the tools they need to prepare more nutritious meals.
Visit from Maryland Food Bank CEO
On April 12, we were honored to host a special visitor from the Maryland Food Bank, President and CEO Carmen Del Guercio. Leket Israel’s Founder and Chairman, Joseph Gitler, gave a tour of Leket’s logistics center. In the course of Mr. Del Guercio’s visit, they shared best practices and exchanged information on the challenges and accomplishments of their respective food banks.
Joseph Gitler, Leket’s Founder and Chairman said, “I was delighted to host Carmen Del Guercio, President and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank on his visit to Leket Israel. It is always a pleasure to meet other industry leaders and to discuss the similarities and differences in our food banking systems. We truly appreciate having the opportunity to show Leket Israel’s operations firsthand and gain a tremendous amount of ideas and new ways of looking at things from visits such as this.”
Introducting: Power BI by Microsoft
What Leket Israel most prides itself on is its transparency and efficiency. It is due to this that we are delighted to have begun working with Power BI by Microsoft Office.
Power BI is an analytics tool for businesses which enables users to better analyze their data in a comprehensive way. Leket is using this tool for three different areas; to manage the produce being picked, the hot meals being collected and the money being donated. What this means for Leket is that we are able to see, in real time, how our efforts are performing and how it compares to this time last year. Every two hours the system is updated with information on the farmers, the companies we collect hot meals from and all donations. From this we are able to break down the information even more based on location, date and specific person where relevant.
It is our hope that Power BI will improve our productivity and efficiency and we will therefore increase the amount of food we are able to rescue and donate to those in need.
Leket’s Corporate Responsibility Conference
On April 25, Leket Israel hosted its Second Annual Corporate Responsibility Conference in Ra’anana. The goal of the Conference was to show our appreciation to our current corporate partners for their previous support and to welcome new partners to Leket. The Conference was attended by representatives from 40 companies including big names like Amdocs, Intel, Banks Discount and Mizrahi as well as smaller startup companies.
The day started with a tour of the Logistics Center and a general introduction to Leket Israel. From there, the group headed to Shenkin Bar, who generously donated their location and provided refreshments throughout the day. After presentations by El Al and Good Vision, there was a lecture by Professor Yoram Yovel on the Psychiatry of Love and Giving, with references to how Leket Israel plays a big part in that.
We were incredibly pleased by the turnout of attendees who are both current Leket partners as well as potential new ones. We at Leket understand the importance for corporations and companies to give back to the community and we’re extremely proud to have so many wonderful and generous partners around Israel.
Leket Live Mission
Preparations are well underway for Leket’s inaugural Leket Live Mission event which will be in Israel this coming July. We are looking forward to welcoming the participants and having the opportunity to share an in-depth look at our operations. If you are interested in learning more or would still like to register, please do so here.
New Food Donors – March 2018
This month, Leket Israel began collecting 17,700 additional hot meals from:
- Elbit Haifa – 1,400 meals per month
- Prime Minister’s Office, Haifa – 800
- Technological College of the Airforce, Haifa – 2,300 meals per month
- Intelligence Army Base in Givatayim – 2,400 meals per month
- Maadanot Catering A – 3,200
- Maadanot Catering B – 4,000
- Ir HaBahadim Army Base – 3,600