A hot soup in the winter does more than just fill an empty stomach; it also offers comfort and nourishment. Leket Israel’s soup initiative demonstrates a desire to go beyond providing a daily hot meal. In partnership with caterer Mevushelet, Leket Israel is
Preparing fresh soups from surplus produce rescued from farms and packing houses around the country. The project, which began in 2021, has grown from three types of soups to seven, including tomato and rice, lentil, pea, bean, vegetable, Harira (a Moroccan vegetable soup) and orange soup (incorporating carrots and sweet potatoes). Leket Israel supplies the produce, and Mevushelet supplies the remaining ingredients. All the soups are frozen at the time of production and can remain in the freezer for up to one year. The soups are distributed through a network of over 40 nonprofit partner agencies throughout the country who cater specifically to the elderly.
As with many of Leket Israel’s special projects, there are other benefits to the soups in addition to supplying an extra meal to those in need. Perhaps the most important one is that turning the excess vegetables into frozen soups extends the nutritional value and the shelf life of the vegetables.
Since the project’s inception, the demand for the soups has grown significantly. As many nonprofits do not have sufficient freezer space to store the soups, Leket Israel will begin investing in expanding the infrastructure of some nonprofit partners to ensure that more people will be able to receive soups through this program. With the success of the soup project, it has become clear that Leket Israel can work to find creative solutions for utilizing the excess produce and serving it to Israelis in need, especially the elderly.