Leket is a biblical idea. In fact it is a mitzvah. The word Leket means to glean. It is what Ruth did in the fields of Boaz. Fast-forward many centuries and we see a modern adaptation of this ancient biblical command at work today in modern Israel.
Founded in 2003, Leket Israel serves as the country’s largest food bank and food rescue network actively working to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity among Israel’s diverse population. Help Israel’s Needy – Support Israel’s National Food Bank.
Statistics reveal that a quarter of Israel’s 7.7 million citizens are living in poverty; among them are some 850,000 hungry children. Yet at the same time hundreds of thousands of tons of perfectly good, nutritious food are needlessly destroyed each year. Furthermore studies in Israel indicate that nearly a quarter of the country’s population suffers from an imbalanced or insufficient diet due to poverty.
In 2003, the paradox of nutritional insecurity in the face of large-scale food wastage led to the establishment of Leket Israel. Today serving as the country’s largest food bank and food rescue network, Leket Israel’s primary mission is to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity through the rescue and redistribution of excess food to benefit Israel’s poor.
As an umbrella organization, Leket Israel also works to assist at-risk population groups and the non-profit organizations who serve them through nutrition education capacity-building and food safety projects designed to improve professional standards among NPOs and other food provision agencies. With the help of 50,000 volunteers and dozens of paid workers, Leket Israel rescues each year more than 770,000 hot meals, 110,000 loaves of bread and 18 million pounds of produce gleaned from farms and perishable goods for the benefit of the needy. In addition 7,600 meals are prepared per day for invalid-elderly, minorities, children and at-risk population groups throughout Israel. And 8,800 sandwiches per day are prepared for schoolchildren in more than 100 schools throughout Israel.
Many of Leket Israel’s volunteers are Jews and Christians who tour the country. This helps not only to boost the economy of Israel but also to help in the distribution of food to those in desperate need. Please consider coming to Israel and being a blessing to this treasured land.