The monthy update for our most dedicated supporters from Gidi Kroch
Leket Israel continues to make inroads in providing for the needy and rescuing food in Israel. This past month has been an incredibly busy and successful month across all of our departments. Between the release of our 3rd Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report, the Global FoodBanking Network conference, Good Deeds Day, opening new collection routes and more. At this time of year, with a 35% increase in the requests from our NPO agency partners, we are proud to announce that we distributed 2,000 ton of fresh produce, twice as much food as last year and just in time for Passover.
In this edition:
- Leket Israel & BDO Food Waste and Rescue Report
- New Food Donors – March 2018
- Parent/Child Nutrition Workshop
- Global FoodBanking Network Conference in Houston
- Good Deeds Week
- Pesach Open Pick Day
- Leket Israel Heads to Australia
- Spotlight on a Leket NPO Partner: Gishrei Ya Supermarket
Leket Israel & BDO Food Waste and Rescue Report
On March 13th we released our 3rd Report on Food Waste and Rescue in Israel focusing on food loss in the retail industry. While we are incredibly proud of the media coverage that we received, what is most important to us, are the people who took notice of the report. One example of this is Kobi Savyon the Vice President of Assets and Infrastructure at Elbit who heard about the report and sent an email to his company saying that while they had originally been working with Leket in only 2 locations, he wants now to work with Leket in all 17 sites since he was so impressed with our report and the work that Leket is doing. Moreover Elbit will be naming Leket Israel as the beneficiary of food donations in the new contracts with the caterers.
New Food Donors – March 2018
This month Leket Israel began collecting 11,000 additional hot meals from:
- Madanot Catering in Netivot – 4,000 meals per month
- 1 Army Base in the South – 1,000 meals per month
- 5 Hotels in the Dead Sea Region – 6,000 meals per month
Parent/Child Nutrition Workshop
In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables and rescued hot meals, one of Leket Israel’s major goals is to increase awareness and educate on the importance of healthy eating. This past month, our Nutrition and Food Safety department, in partnership with the organization Youth Futures in Afula, launched its first ever Parent/Child Workshop to teach nutritional eating habits. The workshop consisted of four sessions which focused on building better nutritional habits and encouraging parents and their children to make healthier choices when eating and cooking. The families played a number of games including ‘guess the produce’ and how to create a food pyramid.
Since the goal is to educate, the Nutrition team put together a comprehensive survey which they gave to each of the participants before the workshop to test their knowledge of nutrition and will give them the second half of the survey after completion of the workshop to see what they have learned.
Global FoodBanking Network Conference in Houston
On March 12, Leket was represented by two members of the staff, Yedidya Rosenberg, Director of Nonprofit Agency Relations and Maya Azoulay, Director of Resource Development in Israel at the 12th Annual Food Bank Leadership Institute hosted by the Global FoodBanking Network, in Houston, Texas. There, 105 representatives from 35 foodbanks from around the world came together to discuss strategy, marketing and logistics. Together, they visited the Houston Food Bank and shared best practices on how to improve their work in helping to feed the needy.
Good Deeds Week
Although Tuesday, March 13th was Good Deeds Day, here at Leket Israel we hosted Good Deeds “Week and a Half” with 3,609 volunteers coming to our various fields and Logistics Center to give back to the community. Volunteers from 68 companies in addition to a number of schools and private groups came to volunteer with Leket as well. Overall, Leket raised NIS 197,040 ($56,621).
For Good Deeds Week, we partnered with a company called Mehadrin who generously donated an orchard in Kfar Chabad where volunteers picked 20 tons of clementines in just ten days. Unfortunately for Mehadrin, the clementines were too small for them to sell but lucky for us they were the perfect size to be rescued by our hardworking volunteers and then donated to people in need.
Outside of the fields, we formed a three way partnership with Galil Mountain Winery in the north and a bar in Yaffo called the Cuckoo’s Nest. On March 13, the Winery donated wine to the Cuckoo’s Nest and all of the proceeds from the wine purchased that day were donated to Leket.
Pesach Open Pick Day
On the first day of Chol Hamoed, April 1, Leket hosted over 800 volunteers for clementine picking in Or Yehuda. The volunteers came from all over the world to pick in the fields to benefit Israel’s needy. Altogether, 6 tons of clementines were picked for distribution to 3,000 families. A great day was had by all!
Leket Israel Heads to Australia
This month, for the first time, Joseph Gitler, Leket’s Founder and Chairman, was invited to Australia for a whirlwind tour, meeting and greeting the Jewish community of Victoria. Thanks to Leket’s new partnership with JNF Australia Victoria who organized every detail of the trip from transportation and accommodations to events, Joseph met with 2,000 people in synagogues, schools, at dinners, luncheons and more. One standout event was the Gold Patron’s Luncheon for JNF Australia Victoria’s Gold Patron Donors. Joseph also visited local feeding agencies including SecondBite, Fareshare Food Charity and Foodbank Vitoria.
This year, Leket Israel was chosen to be the recipient of the JNF Australia Victoria Blue Box Campaign for Passover and all proceeds from the campaign will go to support Leket. Moving forward, we will also now be able to receive tax deductible donations in Australian dollars through our cooperation with JNF Australia Victoria.
We’d like to wish a special thank you to Ronit Fraid, Vice President, VIC State President and Ilana Maizels, Fundraising Director for all of their hard work and hospitality over the week of Joseph’s visit. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership together.
Spotlight on a Leket NPO Partner:
Gishrei Ya Supermarket
25 years ago, Gishrei Ya started as an organization delivering packaged food to 20 families in the Rishon Lezion area. They soon realized that sending generic boxes to a diverse group of people wasn’t working since each family has its own needs and likes. Therefore, what they needed to do was to create a space for people to come and choose what they wanted. Working with the Welfare Ministry, they built a personal supermarket in Rishon Lezion stocked with all the basic necessities that someone would want to buy. Each family is given a budget and once a week they come to choose what they need. In addition to dry goods, the recipients can also “purchase” fruits and vegetables provided by Leket Israel.
“The idea behind this initiative is to ensure that everything is done in the most respectful way. Our clients use a real supermarket cart, receive a receipt and choose from an array of products to fit their family’s needs. Working with Leket Israel has really raised the quality of produce we offer. It lets them know that just because they can’t afford to purchase fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the best and that’s what Leket Israel supplies” says Asher, Director of the project.