Operation Dugo Takes Place at The Felix Project

500 falafel meals distributed in memory of a Holocaust survivor

Volunteers with the meals prepared for Operation Dugo
Volunteers with the meals prepared for Operation Dugo

January 25, 2023

500 falafel meals have been donated to The Felix Project to help feed the homeless as part of ‘Operation Dugo’ in the run up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.

The meals are to commemorate the freedom of Holocaust survivor, David “Dugo” Leitner. Leitner had been in Auschwitz-Birkenau when on 18 January 1945, he alongside 60,000 other Jews, were forced by the Nazis to leave the camp and walk for 3 days through the snow. Aged just 14, Leitner was underfed, exhausted and freezing, he says it was dreaming of his mother’s cooking and in particular bilkalach that got him through the ordeal.

In 1949 Dugo moved to Israel, he was in a market and tried falafel, the taste brought back particularly strong memories of his childhood. Now, every year, on 18 January , he enjoys falafel in celebration of his journey, freedom and liberation.

The Israeli Embassy, which celebrates the day every year, sent a team of people to volunteer at The Felix Project base in Park Royal to help distribute the meals. Diplomatic staff saw how the charity rescues surplus food and redistributes it to organisations and schools across London, helping to feed those in need.

The day has grown to become a huge movement centred around social action and giving food to those going hungry.

The Deputy Israeli ambassador with a Felix Project volunteer
The Deputy Israeli ambassador with a Felix Project volunteer

Deputy Ambassador Oren Marmorstein said, "We are proud to be a part of Operation Dugo for the third year running, this time teaming up with the Felix Project to ensure that Dugo’s memory continues to have a tangible, charitable impact. Operation Dugo was launched with the idea that no one should ever go hungry, and by teaming with such an incredible charity, we have seen this vision come to life for the day across the streets of London."

Jane Byam Shaw, Trustee and co-founder of The Felix Project, met the guests and said, “We were delighted to play a part in marking this poignant and sacred day and to welcome the team from the Israeli Embassy. We were very moved to hear the story of David Leitner’s survival and to understand the inspiration behind Dugo Day, which has grown into an annual event that resonates with our own mission to ensure that no-one should ever go hungry. The meals will be appreciated and enjoyed by all who receive them through our network of charity partners in London.”

If you would like to donate, volunteer or find out more visit www.thefelixproject.org.

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