Julieta Radovitzki is a single mother who immigrated to Israel from Argentina with her daughter in 2003. Following a decline in her mental health, Julieta began working at Ofek Industries, a factory under the auspices of the Public Health Association in Haifa (northern Israel). The factory produces military textiles, mainly for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel’s army, but sometimes for export as well.
The factory is a joint project of the Ministries of Health and Defense, providing work for individuals with mental health issues and disabilities which prevent them from integrating into a typical workplace. The factory provides employees with support, guidance, and a sense of accomplishment. For these workers, the factory serves not only as their place of employment, but a place to improve themselves, alleviate loneliness, and create new social relationships.
“I came to Ofek Industries following a decline in my mental health,” Julieta acknowledges. “I could not manage leaving the house or going to work.” Since she started working at the factory, she has acquired skills and progressed socially.
For the past six months, Leket Israel has been helping Julieta and her fellow factory workers by providing them with fresh fruit and vegetables. “Once a week when I arrive at work, there are fresh fruit and vegetables waiting for us, which really helps me. Before this weekly delivery of produce, I never really ate vegetables, so this has been really important for me and my health.”
Leket Israel also supplies its healthy frozen soups to the employees as an additional meal. “The soups from Leket Israel, which I take home, are nourishing and full of fresh ingredients and make me feel like I’m looked after. It’s so clear that it comes from the heart. It makes me feel good that there are people who care about us.”