August 05, 2013 | By Abby J. Leibman
On our last full day of meetings in Israel we visited the warehouse at Leket with Paul Lieba, its Director of Development.
Leket is of course, the national food bank in Israel, established by the Forum to Address Food Insecurity & Poverty in Israel, an effort for which MAZON served a central and catalytic role. The day before we’d also had lunch with Ron Guttmann, a long time member of the Leket Board of Directors.
Both men have not only a long history of engagement in addressing food insecurity in Israel, but a vision and perspective that can only come from working on a national level. We learned a great deal about food insecurity in Israel and the struggle to secure and distribute adequate amounts of nutritious food to those who struggle with food insecurity in Israel. Sadly, far too much of it sounded very familiar to us. It was uplifting and a bit thrilling to see how far things have progressed since MAZON led a mission to Israel in 2007 in order to advance support for Leket. It is also very grounding to have to realize how very much more remains to be done in order to fully address food insecurity in Israel.
We had lively and challenging conversations about the role of the national government in addressing food insecurity; we saw remarkable efforts to support the most vulnerable among Israeli communities; and we met with visionaries who have made it their life’s work to end food insecurity in the “start up nation” and while those visions may differ, the passion, the commitment and the concern for their fellow Israelis is the vital connection we heard from everyone.