PHILANTHROPIST Jeanne Pratt and her late husband Richard were honoured last month for helping feed Israel’s hungry.
Pratt Foundation chair Sam Lipski accepted the award on behalf of the Pratts from Leket Israel, at a gala dinner on Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu. Also present at the event was Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, Andrea Faulkner.
According to a spokesperson for the seven-year-old Israeli charity, Leket Israel owes much of its success to the Pratts’ willingness to support the organisation from its inception.
As well as honouring the Pratts, the dinner also raised money and awareness for Leket Israel’s Night Rescue Project.
That project aims to collect fresh, leftover food from weddings, bar mitzvahs and restaurants each evening to redistribute to Israelis in need. Leket Israel staff even gathered the surplus food the gala dinner’s 650 guests had left to provide another 200 meals.
Those 200 meals form just a small slice of the 250,000 meals provided each year by the not-for-profit to people in homeless shelters, elderly people and disadvantaged children.
“Part of our mission at Leket Israel is to make those who generate waste conscious of the value they are pouring down the drain, conscious of the nutrition they are denying their fellow citizens, and conscious of the future that can be built for those less fortunate than themselves,” Leket Israel founder Joseph Gitler told guests. “Leket is twice blessed – it blesses him who gives and it blesses him who receives.”
Together with the Pratts, Gitler also recognised Israeli attorney and farmer Sandy Colb.
Colb grows produce on his farm with the sole intention of distributing it to Israel’s needy. Around 40,000 Leket Israel volunteers from around the world descend on Colb’s farm each year to pick his produce in Kvutzat Shiller.
Caption: From left: Leket Israel founder Joseph Gitler, Pratt Foundation CEO Sam Lipski and Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch.