Leket app connects food donors with charities

What do you get if you mix a charity with smart phone technology? An app that helps the needy, of course.

iphones R 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
iphones R 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
What do you get if you mix a charity with smart phone technology? An app that helps the needy, of course.
That is the premise behind a new, free application available for both iPhone and Android phones, in both Hebrew and English, that Leket – Israel’s National Food Bank officially launched this week.
Through its app, the organization – which each year recycles more than 9.592 million kilograms of produce, hot meals and perishables from restaurants, event halls, supermarkets and other businesses and distributes it daily to more than 270 charities nationwide – enables users to locate nearby charities so they can donate their surplus food.
“The Leket Israel App will allow both Israelis and tourists visiting Israel easy access to the closest location in need of the surplus food from their event,” the organization’s founder and chairman, Joseph Gitler, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
“We are very excited to have created the first of its kind in Israel and to use technology to better serve those less fortunate,” he added.
Gitler pointed out that applications serving Jewish charities, Israeli social projects and Israel volunteerism are still scarce in the app market. However, he said such technology would be helpful for Leket in connecting those in need with people who want to help out.
“We are not expecting this to become the most downloaded app in the Apple store, but it would be great if people actually do start to use it,” he said.
The app, which includes a link to Leket’s main website and information about the organization, also features an interactive map of the country, so those looking to donate their leftover food from an event or a conference can search for the charity closest to them. Gitler said the technology would soon be developed further, allowing users to punch in their zip codes and find agencies nearby.
At present, when users click on the charities’ locations, it is Leket’s contact details that come up. However, the app will soon show contact information for the charities themselves, said Gitler.
“Today charities need to be just as sophisticated as people are in the business world, albeit with fewer resources,” he commented, adding that “while not every charity has the need or means to become active on social media or to develop downloadable apps for their public, for larger organizations such as Leket, it is very important to get their information out there and to make an impact.”