Although Gideon Ben Ami retired from managing food chains in Israel and abroad, he came back to work and is currently serving as the Executive Director of Pesia’s Kitchen NPO in south Tel Aviv. Gideon moved to the US at a young and raised a large family there. Once his four children had grown, he and his wife decided to make Aliyah and move back to Israel. “I was always aware of food waste and tried to minimize the food loss both personally and in the food-manufacturing business where I worked,” he says, “but I always dreamed of being able to help after I retired.”
Pesia’s Kitchen has been around for about a decade. With the help of friends and family, they distribute fruits and vegetables that they receive from Leket Israel. With this food they are able to provide nutritional security for thousands of needy people in south Tel Aviv: elderly, homeless, battered women in shelters, drug addicts, women involved in sex trade, and more.
The organization was fortunate to receive a donation of a warehouse where they are able to store the produce. The warehouse stands adjacent to an Amidar public housing in south Tel Aviv. In the public housing live many elderly people of a low socio-economic status who cannot afford to buy produce at market prices. Twice a week the staff opens a stall next to the warehouse and distributes fresh produce to the elderly free of charge.
Gideon shares: “I recently met a new friend who lives in the public housing. He is a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who told me excitedly how important it is for him that we come twice a week and provide the fruits and vegetables, which he otherwise would not have,” he smiles contently. “I am very moved by this because I know that every person has a basic right to food and nutrition security, especially someone his age who lived through all the horrors and managed to survive the Holocaust.
“Our days here in south Tel Aviv are hard and complicated. Yet at the end of each day I go to sleep feeling good, knowing that I am doing what I can, together with Leket Israel, to enable these disadvantaged populations to have a constant supply of fresh, healthy food. Without this activity it is possible that no one would have been able to provide their basic need for survival.”
This NPO is one of 200 NPOs that work with Leket Israel, transferring rescued food to those who need it.