When you give to the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, “the good that you do” enables Holocaust survivor Leah Ashar and her husband to dine on nourishing soup, made from produce that would have otherwise gone to waste.

We are proud to support our partner agency, Leket Israel, as it develops innovative ways to make sure valuable food resources are not discarded, but instead collected to feed vulnerable seniors in central Israel.

In mid-2021, Leket established its new Soup Program, providing food in a manner that is easy to heat and consume. Working with a food manufacturer in northern Israel, vegetable soup is prepared (without preservatives) from excess rescued food, packaged, frozen and delivered to 20 nonprofit organizations. In 2021, 92,000 containers were distributed to people like Leah.

Meet Leah Ashar

Leah arrived in Israel 60 years ago from Paris, and unfortunately had several health conditions that prevented her from working. For the past 20+ years, she has come to Birkat Cohen, a partner agency of Leket Israel, twice a week to receive food parcels for herself and her husband, who is at home on dialysis.

“I’m not able to cook at all,” Leah said. “It is hard for me to stand for long periods of time, so soup that I don’t have to prepare and can heat up in the microwave is a life saver. Plus, my husband finds it really tasty.”

Despite her health issues, Leah walks to the center twice a week, and carries her food back to her walk-up apartment. She is one of more than 400 Holocaust survivors who collect food parcels from Birkat Cohen each week.

2021: A Year of Accomplishments

In 2021, Leket Israel accomplished the following and more:

  • Rescued 25,000 tons (55.13 million lbs.) of fresh produce from the farming sector
  • Rescued 1.4 million meals from the catering sector and the IDF
  • Purchased 320,000 million meals from industrial caterers
  • Prepared 46,000 liters (92,000 pints) of frozen soup using excess vegetables
  • Partnered with the Wingate Institute to study the effects of regular physical exercise and a healthy diet on a child’s wellbeing and functioning
  • Provided guidance on food rescue of senior Singapore government officials

Help the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County continue to assist Leah and others through Leket by giving at www.bocafed.org/donate.