In 2003, Joseph Gitler founded Leket Israel - The National Food Bank - as a one-man volunteer operation to respond to the paradox of growing hunger and poverty in Israel, on the one hand, and significant food waste on the other. Today, Joseph’s operation has grown to distribute over 40 million pounds of food to Israel’s socio-economic periphery through its partnerships with 200 nonprofit organizations, feeding more than 175,000 people every week. With 105 employees, a fleet of delivery vehicles and tens of thousands of volunteers, Leket now operates the greatest logistical and human resource capacity of any single food provision agency in Israel.
Learn about what happens to food waste when we not longer need, why food waste is an environmental problem, how Leket Israel helps rescue food and how you can volunteer to help! If you want to donate to Leket head to www.leket.org
In Part II of this episode, we continue our interview of Joseph Gitler, the Founder of Leket Israel. Leket Israel is the National Food Bank of the State of Israel. Today, it has over 60,000 annual volunteers, and delivers over 45 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and 3 million meals annually. In Part II, we learn about how Joseph grew the organization from a mere 25 volunteers to the 60,000 volunteers they have today. We also learn about the impact Leket has had on the lives of Israelis who have benefited from their great service. We also explore how Leket's model can be duplicated around the world.
In Part I of this episode, we interview Joseph Gitler, the founder of Leket Israel. Joseph is a social entrepreneur who sought to solve a major problem in Israel: nutritional insecurity. With that goal in mind, he single-handedly founded Israel's largest national food bank, which rescues and redistributes food all over the country to those in desperate need. Today, Leket Israel attracts over 60,000 annual volunteers from around the world. They redistribute over 45 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, and over 3 million cooked meals annually. In Part I, we learn how Joseph identified the problem, and began the process of building the organization - and his hands-on approach to leading his army of volunteers.
Episode 049 - The Leket Israel Founder: A Conversation with Joseph Gitler
Jews You Should Know
ABOUT THIS EPISODE Joseph Gitler grew up as a nice Jewish boy, and a Zionist, in Manhattan, NY and later Teaneck, NJ. His career path as a lawyer, first in the U.S. and then, after making aliyah, in Israel, was proceeding nicely, until he noticed a gaping void in the Israeli charitable sector: the absence of a food bank or food rescue and recovery program, which exist all over the world. Leaving his career as an attorney, Gitler threw himself into the task of remedying that problem, and in the years since he has built a towering edifice of charity, benefiting the environment, thousands of volunteers, 210 recipient organizations, and of course the nation's poor. With a $15 million annual budget, Leket distributes fresh produce and prepared meals with a wholesale value of over $50 million dollars, and a retail value much beyond that. In a single year, they deliver 45 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and 3 million cooked meals, utilizing over 60,000 volunteers and a professional workforce over 100 strong. Visit www.Leket.org to learn more about this amazing organization, the man who founded it, and ways you can visit, volunteer and get involved. -------------------- ABOUT THIS PODCAST Jews You Should Know introduces the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know. The host, Rabbi Ari Koretzky, is Executive Director of MEOR Maryland (www.meormd.org), a premier Jewish outreach and educational organization. MEOR operates nationally on twenty campuses and in Manhattan; visit the national website at www.meor.org. Please visit www.JewsYouShouldKnow.com, follow us on Twitter @JewsUShouldKnow or on Facebook. Have feedback for the show, or suggestions for future guests? E-mail us at JewsYouShouldKnow@gmail.com. Want to support this podcast? Visit Patreon.com/JewsYouShouldKnow. A small monthly contribution goes a long way!! A special thank you to Jacob Rupp of the Lift Your Legacy podcast for his invaluable production assistance.