Leket Israel -The National Food Bank
“Many Christians are unaware of the growing rate of poverty which exists in Israel.”
About one-fifth of Israeli families live below the poverty line, while 36 percent of Israeli children and 25 percent of Israeli Holocaust survivors live in impoverished conditions, according to a 2008 National Insurance Institute report.
Leket Israel (formerly Table to Table) seeks to care for Israel’s needy, while showing them God’s love, by offering a variety of food distribution efforts across the country.
Last year, the organization diverted 5,700 tons of produce and perishable manufactured food items from destruction and redistributed it to 230 nonprofits working with needy Jews. It also spared and gave out 700,000 unused, unpurchased meals from restaurants, mall food courts and hotels that would have been thrown away.
One of the ministry’s food pickups is turned around in five hours to feed 500 shut-ins, and more than 1 million sandwiches have been provided for school children from dysfunctional homes in 24 cities. In fact, Leket’s reputation for its care of Israel’s poor is such that last year a major grocery chain asked the organization to redistribute an overstock of cereal for the chain. Leket answered the call and rerouted 100,000 boxes of cereal to the needy.
“Think about the story of feeding the multitudes,” says Ray MacDonald, one of Leket’s directors. “What did Jesus say after everyone was fed? He wanted the leftovers picked up. Why? I believe He didn’t want to waste.”
Leket uses three methods to redistribute food: nighttime pickups from restaurants and other food outlets, gleaning from producers, providing meals for Israeli school children. For the gleaning, farmers leave 10 percent of their fields, usually the corners, for Leket. The total of school children fed with a sandwich, fruit and drink has now topped 1 million youngsters in less than seven years.
Leket’s efforts have indirectly helped a hospice for autistic adults improve its facility. “[The hospice] told us recently that because of the food we help them with, they are able to spend money on other things like beds, staffing and programming,” MacDonald says.
More than 40,000 people in a year donate their time to Leket, making it the largest volunteer organization in Israel.
Support the Christian Friends of Leket Israel by visiting their website: http://www.HelpFeedIsrael.com