Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry released its first Annual Food Waste and Rescue Report. The report reveals a detailed model showing the cost of food waste on Israel’s environment and how it affects the country’s economy. It also shows how Israel compares to other countries worldwide.
Gila Gamliel, Minister of Environmental Protection said of the findings: “The Food Waste and Rescue Report shows that the impact of food waste on the environment and the economy is significant, but that it doesn’t need to be this way. The report shows that roughly 35% of all Israeli produced food is thrown away. Managing this waste and surplus also consumes additional resources like water, land, energy and emits extra pollutant emissions created during food cultivation and production. Currently, during this worldwide health pandemic and economic crisis, it is incumbent upon us to conserve these resources, which can also assist weaker population sectors. Our office is currently formulating a waste strategy that will include the reduction of waste at the source, especially food waste. We will also continue promoting policies that will advocate the reduction of food waste as well as its impact on the environment.”
According to the report, the environmental cost of food waste in Israel, as of 2019, is an estimated NIS 3.2 billion (US $945 million). The report also shows that food waste comprises approximately 35% of the total volume of municipal waste.
To begin fixing the food insecurity problem in Israel, 20% of the food that is wasted must be rescued. Fortunately, one Israeli organization, Meir Panim, is doing its part to combat this issue.
Through programs like its unique Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchens, Meir Panim converts rescued food into nutritious and delicious meals for Israel’s needy. Unlike traditional soup kitchens, Meir Panim is able to serve high-quality food like steak, fish and fresh salads, by partnering with local hotels and restaurants to rescue their excess food so it doesn’t go to waste.
Although the food they receive is free, the delivery, management, operations and daily costs involved with running this operation aren’t. Especially since the start of COVID, which has shutdown many of their regular food suppliers and left many more in need of support.
Meir Panim understands that the country’s food waste and insecurity problems can be mitigated, but they can’t do it alone. That’s why they are asking friends of Israel worldwide to step up and donate to this cause. Help them not only fight food waste, but feed Israel’s poor. With your support more can be done to help them fight food waste and feed Israel’s poor.