Israel’s food bank blasts 1.3m tonnes of waste with 2m people below poverty

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israel’s food bank blasts 1.3m tonnes of waste with 2m people below poverty

Pastries in Israel

Israel’s national food bank has slammed the country for annually wasting 1.3 million tonnes of edible food fit for redistribution, while 2 million Israelis live below the poverty line.

A first-of-its-kind report for Leket Israel, published last week, revealed that food worth NIS 8 billion (£1.4 billion), equal to 1.6 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP), is wasted annually. The food required to end food insecurity in Israel, by contrast, would cost NIS 3 billion – less than half the amount wasted.

“While these two million citizens do not know where their next meal will come from, the country is literally throwing away edible food-valued at NIS 8 billion,” said Leket chief executive Gidi Kroch.

“The figures are shocking and prove that the resounding solution to global issues such as hunger, poverty and waste lie in food redistribution programmes implemented on a governmental scale.”

The report, called ‘Food Waste and Rescue in Israel: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impact,’ was compiled by consulting group BDO Ziv Haft. It looked at the loss of produce throughout the food chain, from agriculture to packaging, distribution and retail. Three quarters of the loss went on fruit and vegetables.

Activists say the cost of food rescue is 75 percent lower than the cost of providing support, subsidies or allowances to the poor, meaning that the country’s politicians had a financial reasons to solve the problem.

“This must serve as motivation to adopt initiatives on a national scale,” said Kroch. “Even modest gains cutting waste will dramatically improve societal conditions, and do so at a relatively low cost.”

Chen Herzog, chief economist of BDO Ziv Haft, said: “The benefits of food rescue to the economy are significantly larger than the market price of the food saved.” 

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: