Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani toured the new Leket Israel facility today, including a behind-the-scenes look at the inner working of one of Israel’s largest food collection and redistribution operations, considered to be the most innovative in the country and a worldwide leader. Giuliani, who serves as Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Crisis Management Practice, is in Israel visiting the firm’s Tel Aviv office. The visit came after Leket released a breakthrough study on food waste in Israel considered to be a groundbreaking in terms of how western governments can combat hunger.
The report, the first of its kind in Israel, highlighted the economic, social and environmental benefits of rescuing unused food for the more than two million Israeli citizens living below the poverty line. The report found that more than 2.5 million tons of edible food, with a market value of NIS8 billion (roughly US$2 billion) is wasted in Israel annually. The research demonstrates the significant economic and social impact of food rescue to Israel’s national economy. Rescuing 25 percent of food waste translates to a savings of NIS 3 billion, equivalent to the food purchasing gap between the food insecure and food secure. The cost of such food rescue is 75 percent lower than the alternative of providing support, subsidies or allowances to the needy, and additionally offers significant environmental benefits.
Giuliani was escorted on the visit by Leket Israel Founder and Chairman Joseph Gitler, himself a former New York City resident, and Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch. He then addressed the organization’s staff on the importance of their work in food recovery. The trip was arranged by Greenberg Traurig.
Leket Israel is a non-profit organization that leads the safe and effective collection and distribution of surplus nutritional food in Israel. In addition to the hard work and dedication of its 58,000 annual volunteers, the key to Leket’s success is the efficiency of the main logistics center. Giuliani toured the 21,500-square-foot warehouse, which is equipped with high capacity refrigeration and cargo trucks to assure the safe storage, sorting and distribution of millions of pounds of food that is collected and donated to the organization annually.
“I was honored to meet Joseph Gitler and the Leket team and hear the unique story of Leket’s ability to deliver vast quantities of excess food to the people of Israel who need it most,” said former Mayor Giuliani.
“We are thrilled to host Former New York City Mayor Giuliani on a tour of Leket’s logistics center,” said Leket Israel Founder and Chairman Joseph Gitler. “We are excited to show former Mayor Giuliani how we are closing the gap in food insecurity in Israel.”
“Greenberg Traurig maintains a long-standing commitment to participating in and giving back to the communities in which we live and work and we’re pleased to be able to make this connection between Former Mayor Giuliani and Leket Israel. We have been recognized as the most philanthropic law firm in the United States.” said Greenberg Traurig Managing Shareholder of its Israel office Adv. Gary Epstein.
Leket Israel-The National Food Bank is the leading food rescue non-profit organization that rescues fresh, perishable food, which would otherwise be considered waste, from farms, hotels, military bases and catering halls in an effort to aid the quarter of the country’s population that lives below the poverty line. The organization works with 190 non-profits throughout the country to distribute nutritious food to more than 140,000+ Israelis weekly. Last year alone, Leket collected more than 25 million pounds of food for the needy.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel