The Leket Israel food rescue organization has announced the purchase of an agricultural field near Binyamina, where the NGO says vegetables will be grown solely for the needy.
“This land is one of the only fields in Israel where produce is grown specifically for this purpose, and it’s the only field that has a greenhouse to grow staple vegetables,” said a spokesperson for the organization. Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for distribution to those in need are to be grown at the site on an ongoing basis, including during off seasons.
“What makes the Binyamina initiative so unique is our ability to grow the most sought-after vegetables among Israeli society and to supply them to our 195 nonprofit partner agencies throughout the country,” said Joseph Gitler, Leket Israel’s Founder and Chairman. “We are truly grateful for the substantial donation that made this dream become a reality.”
The funds with which to purchase the field were donated to Leket Israel by Pastor George Annadorai, Director of Shalom Israel Asia Pacific (SIAP), a Christian pro-Israel organization based in Singapore.
“We are honored to stand alongside Leket Israel in bringing daily food to Israel’s needy,” said Pastor Annadorai. “Thanks to Leket, there are thousands who go to bed at night with a full stomach, and that is why we were motivated to create an entire farm to grow produce exclusively for the poor.”
To date, Leket rescues and distributes 15,000 tons of fruit and vegetables to the needy each year, most of which is donated to the organization by farmers across the country.
“The purpose of growing additional crops in Binyamina is to enrich the variety of produce Leket supplies, as well as to guarantee that even when donations might decrease, such as before the holiday season, Leket will not be affected,” the spokesperson said.
In order to engage locals while also reducing expenditures, Leket is recruiting volunteers to assist in the planting and the harvesting; members of local agricultural youth movements are volunteering to assist in planting crops, as part of their school curricula.