Pick Fruit and Vegetables for the Needy with Leket Israel

April 21st 2013

LeketBy combining charity, agriculture and first-hand contact with the process of feeding the less fortunate, volunteering for Leket Israel can add an extra meaningful activity to your itinerary. Museums, ancient ruins, beach time and shopping for one-of-a-kind souvenirs definitely have their place, but sometimes, a hands-on activity is a nice way to round out a trip to Israel – even better if it’s a hands-on activity that’s truly helpful.

Leket Israel was founded in 2003 and is Israel’s largest food bank and food rescue organization. Leket Israel works to help feed Israel’s most disadvantaged citizens by rescuing and redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste. With a relatively small core staff, Leket Israel relies on 45,000 volunteers to help rescue over 18 million pounds of produce each year. Every tomato and every grape that is rescued gets reallocated to feed Israel’s poor, elderly, children and other at-risk populations.

Tourists can donate a day (or more!) to helping a team pick fruits and vegetables from Israeli farms and orchards. The produce that Leket volunteers pick would otherwise be left to rot in the field at the end of the growing season. Opportunities can be set up for tourists to join the tens of thousands of volunteers who assemble in the network’s hundreds of farms or orchards around the country. The chance to pick fruits and vegetables for the needy is available every weekday, Sunday through Thursday, at various locations around Israel.

Once teams of volunteers pick and package the produce in the field, Leket centralizes the produce in its own refrigerated rooms and then arranges for it to be transported to one of hundreds of organizations that serve the needy throughout Israel. The carrot you pull from the ground this morning could help nourish a hungry child tomorrow.

It’s a tremendously impactful family activity. Don’t just visit Israel, when you can roll up your sleeves and participate in picking fruit and vegetables for the needy.

Collecting produce in the fields is just one of the ways tourists can help. Other Leket Israel volunteer opportunities include preparing sandwiches for school children, putting together food packages for Israeli soldiers and needy families, crating bulk food parcels for delivery, loading and unloading food crates on delivery routes, rescuing fresh food and leftover prepared meals from restaurants, caterers, bakeries and more.