Leket Israel – a the National Food Bank, is a unique food rescue organisation in Israel that rescues healthy, surplus food and delivers it to those in need through partnerships with non-profit organisations. Leket Israel was established in 2003 when Joseph Gitler started rescuing meals from catering halls and corporate cafeterias out of his Subaru car. The meals were stored in refrigerators lining his driveway before delivery to local non-profit organisations serving the needy.
After years, Joseph’s organisation has made a positive impact on preventing food waste, and today it is Israel’s largest food distribution network. The food rescued by Leket Israel is distributed to 263 non-profit organisations, including homeless shelters, soup kitchens, elderly centres, battered women’s centres, community help organisations, and schools for at-risk youth. These non-profit partners serve the food to approximately 223,000 Israelis in need every week, regardless of age, gender, religion, or ethnic background.
In 2021, Leket Israel rescued 55 million lbs. of fresh agricultural produce and 1.7 million cooked meals from hotels, corporate cafeterias and IDF army bases.
Commenting on the power of collboration and the synergy, Joseph commented, “No successful initiative is created in a vacuum. Leket Israel depends on its partners both in Israel and around the world to support its mission and ensure that quality nutritious surplus food is rescued and distributed to those who need it most. By collaborating with our non-profit partner agencies, we are able to distribute far and wide throughout the country. As the Israeli representative for the Global FoodBanking Network, we work with food banks around the globe to share best practices and work together to establish food banks, serving those in need. Learning to change with the times is what helps propel Leket forward.”
Find out more about Leket Israel and see how you can support the mission.