Hungry Families, Extra Food
Hunger in Israel
Recent studies have shown that over 2000 families in Israel suffer from nutritional insecurity, with thousands of children across Israel reported going to bed hungry at night.
At the same time, thousands of pounds of uneaten food are sent to the dumpster every week. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, corporate events, bakeries, grocery stores, and more, often order or produce more food than they can consume or sell. This excess food most often ends up as waste.
A Jewish Issue
The Torah is very concerned with reducing hunger and redistributing food resources to those who need them. Commandments include: leaving the corners of fields uncut for the poor to pick (Leviticus 19:9), after the initial harvest, the poor receive access to all fallen fruit in the field (Leviticus 19:10); and the creation of a sabbatical year where all fields are open to everyone (Leviticus 25:2-7).
In addition, preventing nutritious food from ending up in the garbage is in line with the Talmudic value of reducing waste, baal taschit (Bava Kamma, 91b-92)
Leket: Bridging the Divide
Leket Israel was founded in 2003 to rescue excess, nutritious food that would have otherwise been destroyed and redirected to people in need. They have become Israel’s umbrella organization for donations of surplus food, with a committed lineup of volunteers and staff members providing more than 110 tons of food per week to over 230 soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers and other social service organizations around Israel.
Leket Israel is currently active in nearly all areas of Israel, from the Golan Heights in the north to Beer Sheva and Ofakim in the Negev Desert. In addition, Leket:
- Coordinates the largest food purchasing cooperative for non-profit organizations in the country.
- Provides professional guidance in nutrition and food safety to non-profit organizations.
- Supplies over 5,000 volunteer prepared sandwiches every day to school children from dysfunctional homes in 24 cities
Lend a Hand to Leket
Volunteers are the backbone of Leket Israel. Thousands of volunteers each year help Leket Israel collect food from night-time events, prepare sandwiches, and help perform administrative and office duties. Tens of thousands more participate in Project Leket by spending time outdoors, picking fruit and vegetables that will be donated to non-profit organizations. Donations are also critical in expanding Leket’s ability to collect and distribute excess food. To volunteer and donate, visit: http://www.leket.org/english/