In the fields and at the Leket Israel Logistics Center
On Wednesday, November 15, Leket Israel was privileged to host a dinner for evacuees and students at a youth village in central Israel. The youth village, which is home to over 350 students from around the country, is now hosting evacuated families from Ashkelon and Netivot. A local caterer provided a beautiful meal which was shared by the residents who were especially grateful to Leket Israel for the food.
In honor of our strong support and appreciation for the Israeli farming community, we are proud to announce a new comprehensive rehabilitation program called “Returning Smiles to the Fields” for Israeli farmers. This initiative, created in partnership with Strauss-Group will support Israeli farmers and continue to ensure the nutritional security for all residents of the State of Israel.
Leket Israel’s mission to provide those in need with fresh, nutritious food never ends. We are continuing to work with our nonprofit partner agencies and local municipalities, supporting the farmers and the residents of northern and southern Israel, now relocated throughout the country, and of course our recipients who need our help every day of the year and even more so during this difficult time.
In collaboration with Bank Leumi, the National Union of Israeli Students and Keshet, Leket Israel has launched the National Harvest Grant, matching students with farmers who need volunteers. Each student who is chosen will be sent to work with an Israeli farmer for 160 hours and will receive a full year’s academic scholarship. We are proud to be a partner in this important initiative which finds a solution for both farmers who need steady fieldhands and students whose schoolyears have been postponed.
This week, we were honored to host Citibank Israel’s CEO, Neil Corney, and the dedicated members of their senior management team at the Leket Israel Logistics Center. Citibank has been a steadfast partner in our mission, providing funding for our routine food rescue operations and now standing by us in our emergency relief initiatives. Thank you to Citibank for your fruitful collaboration for the benefit of those who need it most.
CEO of Leket Israel, Gidi Kroch: Since the outbreak of the war on October 7th, Leket Israel has strived to be an anchor for the residents of the north and south of Israel who are under siege. This visit to Ashkelon has further highlighted how significant of an impact Leket’s provisions have always been and how vital they are during this time. Leket supplies the residents of Ashkelon with 3,000 cooked meals daily and hundreds of packages of dried goods. I thank Mayor Glam for this important meeting and we will continue to stand with the residents of Ashkelon and all the residents of the State of Israel.
Mayor Tomer Glam: The city of Ashkelon has become part of the frontline of this war. During this difficult time, we are witnessing the unity of our people and our nation. On behalf of myself and the residents of my city, I thank Leket Israel and its supporters for your generous contributions which will bring a smile to the faces of the children of Ashkelon even during our darkest time.
Since the beginning of the war, we have given out over 1,600 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables of which we have purchased about half.
With the help of 500 volunteers, we have picked produce in the fields of 50 Israeli farmers and we are continuing to connect farmers with volunteers on a daily basis. Additionally, we have begun to organize transportation to bring those volunteers directly to the fields.
We are in contact with all our farmers and have created a support system for them during their time of need. The assistance we offer includes prepaid credit cards, help with harvesting produce in their fields and purchasing produce from farmers from the South and North of Israel. We understand that this support will not be limited to the war, and we will continue to support these same farmers when the war is over.
As of today, we have provided over 200,000 hot meals to families that have been forced to evacuate their homes and to families who are at risk.
So far, we have delivered over 15,000 packages of nonperishable food prepared daily by volunteers. Most of the items contained in the packages were purchased from business owners in the south. The packages were delivered to refugees and families in need and was coordinated in conjunction with the local municipalities. We have paid specific attention to Eilat where there are over 60,000 evacuees residing there right now.
We have provided credit cards to 2,000 families that will be refilled every week with NIS 250.
We are working in partnership with the local Welfare Agencies to help anyone whose income has been affected by the war or those that do not have access to their own personal funds. This allows them to purchase their basic necessities and food.
Hundreds of volunteers have been coming to volunteer at our Logistics Center and picking produce on farms, sorting, packaging and giving help anywhere a need arises.
As week two of the war comes to a close, we are bolstered by your staunch support for Leket Israel. While the future is still uncertain, one thing is for sure, Leket Israel will continue to provide assistance to all those in need throughout the country.
Our command center is still receiving dozens of requests for assistance throughout the country. As of right now we are focusing on three main areas, supporting the farming community with volunteers and monetary support, purchasing meals and dry goods to distribute to nonprofits in the south and families who have been displaced, providing monetary support through rechargeable credit cards which will be given weekly, for four months.
This week, we were honored to welcome the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, who visited the Leket Israel Logistics Center in a demonstration of unwavering solidarity during these challenging times. The visit aimed to highlight the strong support and partnership that Leket Israel has provided to the people of Israel during the ongoing conflict.
Collaborating with The Association for Holocaust Survivors to deliver packages, including food and other essentials, to 500 Holocaust survivors.
In cooperation with Cal, an Israeli credit card company, Leket Israel will distribute reloadable credit cards with NIS 250 ($65) to 2,000 families, once a week for four months.
Leket’s nonprofit partners through the country, who are currently operational, are continuing to receive fresh agricultural produce and cooked food from Leket Israel.
Over 200 volunteers come daily to the Leket Israel Logistics Center or the fields in Rishon Lezion to help harvest, sort, and pack, and to ensure that these critical provisions are going to those who need it.
64 crates of fresh agricultural produce were brought to restaurants and catering halls to be cooked for meals for residents of the South
Dry goods were purchased and brought to the Leket Israel Logistics Center to be sorted and packed by Leket Israel volunteers
Half a ton of apples were distributed to soldiers in Kochav Michael (southern Israel)
10 tons of sweet potatoes and potatoes and 2.6 tons of squash were purchased from farmers
Leket Israel is supporting its farmer partners by sending volunteers to harvest their fields so the produce doesn’t go to waste.
Our Progress So Far: