lbs of fresh nutritious food
Rescuing fresh nutritious food to deliver to those in need

About Leket Israel

Leket Israel is the largest food rescue organization in Israel, and the only one whose primary activity is food rescue. Leket Israel’s main goal is to eradicate the phenomenon of food insecurity by rescuing and redistributing surplus food to needy populations in Israel.

Leket Israel harvests excess fresh agricultural yields and collects surplus nutritious, cooked meals. After sorting the food, Leket packs and distributes it to those in need throughout the country. The salvaged food is then distributed to low socio-economic populations who suffer from food insecurity. 

Leket Israel ensures quality control of the salvaged food with regard to food safety and proper storage conditions, as well as the foods’ nutritional value, guaranteeing that the food is healthy and nutritious. In order to uphold these standards, Leket also funds proper infrastructure for the nonprofit organizations that receive the surplus food. Furthermore, Leket Israel’s nutritionists lead nutrition workshops for low socio-economic populations in order to raise awareness and provide tools that promote proper, healthy nutrition on a limited budget. 

Leket Israel and BDO have, for the fourth consecutive year, produced the National Food Waste and Rescue Report for 2018. The estimates in the report reveal that 5.5 billion pounds of food, valued at $5.5 billion constituting approximately 35% of domestic food production, goes to waste in Israel annually. Of this amount, approximately 2.6 billion pounds, worth $2 billion, is rescuable, meaning that it is suitable for human consumption. 

In 2018, Leket Israel rescued some 2.2 million cooked meals from IDF army bases, hotels, companies, and restaurants, and about 30 million pounds of agricultural produce, worth around $41.5 million. These food surpluses are distributed to more than 175,000 people in need weekly, by way of 200 nonprofits across Israel. In addition, the Leket nutritionists have led 70 workshops for the needy. All of these accomplishments, with the support of 47,000 loyal volunteers. 

Reducing food waste and rescuing food has an important economic impact on minimizing inequality gaps and lowering the cost of living. It also serves to boost productivity and competition in the food industry in Israel. These actions also have a meaningful impact on the environment by saving resources and limiting pollutants and emissions. 

Founder and Chairman of Leket Israel, Joseph Gitler, made Aliyah to Israel from New York in 2000 and soon thereafter came upon Israel’s National Insurance Institute’s Poverty Report. The report revealed, as it continues to reveal today, the unfortunate reality of poverty for thousands of Israelis – people working to earn a livelihood, struggling to survive each day, who remain below the poverty line. Leket Israel, which began as a small operation out of Joseph’s home with delivery of excess food in his personal Subaru, has seen impressive growth and expansion. It has become the largest network for food rescue in Israel. 

If decision makers can acknowledge the many advantages of food rescue and proper budget allocation, this will allow for increased rescue of surplus fresh, healthy food. It will help to further close the food security gap in Israel, while simultaneously creating significant savings on resources and costs.

Leket Israel’s field in Binyamina. Photo: Leket Israel Archive

To Leket Israel’s web site

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