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Nutrition for Life Program on Zoom

For the past 10 years, Leket Israel [1]’s “Nutrition for Life” program has been teaching nutrition basics to single mothers, new-immigrants, parents of children at risk and the elderly. At these 4-part workshops, taught by certified nutritionists, participants learn how to prepare healthy meals and receive hands-on instruction on ways to budget for nutritious, low-cost food. Workshops are offered in Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Russian and English.

These workshops, which had previously been geared towards Israel’s weakest population groups, are now available to the wider audience. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many Israelis are finding themselves in a new reality, a fragile financial situation and facing health challenges. In an effort to address this growing population, Leket Israel is launching Nutrition for Life workshops on Zoom.

Each workshop consists of four sessions. Participants are able to choose four out of seven possible sessions, which concentrate on healthy eating, covering a wide range of topics including eating healthfully on a limited budget, making smart choices at the supermarket, the nutritional benefits of legumes, how to make eating fruit and vegetables more interesting, the joys of grains and when to eat sweet or salty foods. Leket Israel’s staff of certified dieticians will deliver the workshops.

“Many Israelis are now confronting a new reality that they were not prepared for,” says Smadar Hod Ovadia, Leket Israel’s director of nutrition education and food safety. “Our goal is to ensure that people, who now find themselves struggling, continue to eat nutritious food and learn how to shop smarter on a more limited budget in an effort to encourage their good health and wellbeing.”

In normal years, as the country’s largest food rescue organization, Leket Israel rescues 2.2 million hot meals and 15.7 thousand tons of surplus agricultural produce, feeding 175,000+ people weekly through a network of 200 NPO partners. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leket has experienced a sharp rise in the demand for assistance from many individuals and government bodies throughout the country. To meet this growing need, Leket Israel pivoted to meal purchase and distribution directly to the homebound. Additionally, Leket rescued tons of more produce from farmers and packinghouses who suddenly found themselves with no market for sales.