UAE | General

UAE residents urged to save leftovers

Hotels can donate excess to charities through the municipality’s programme

  • By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 21:56 July 7, 2013
  • Gulf News

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  • Picture for illustrative purposes only.

Dubai: The municipality has launched a campaign to collect leftover food and distribute it to poor and needy families during Ramadan.

The drive has been launched to combat the excessive wastage of food witnessed as households and hotels tend to prepare more than is consumed.

To combat food waste, Dubai Municipality continues to collaborate with a number of charity organisations that collect leftover food and distribute it to poor and needy families.

Since the inception in 2008 of Hifz Al Ni’am (Value the Blessings), the municipality has been responsible for the technical aspect related to the safety of collected leftover food.

“All the charities registered with the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities can participate in our Hifz Al Ni’am project, and we mainly deal with voluntary and charity organisations based in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman,” said Shamsa Gareeb Sulaiman, principal awareness officer, food control department at Dubai Municipality.

In Ramadan 2011, the municipality recorded that 17,021 people received food from the Hifz Al Ni’am project through excess food collected from hotels and functions. From January to April, 10,342 benefited from the programme, while 4,651 received food donations from May to August, and 6,260 from September to December.

“According to the religious belief and the social culture prevailing in the UAE, wasting food is frowned upon in both the social and individual context. Consuming less and donating the excess is the best way to get rid of the bad habit of wasting food items which, in turn, also saves the environment,” she said.

Shamsa pointed out that hotels and supermarkets who frequently participate in the food donation programme include Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai World Trade Centre, Al Boom Tourist Village, LuLu Hypermarket, and Choithram supermarket.

“Ready-made food carries a higher risk of food poisoning, which is why we encourage charities to collect canned food and other packaged ingredients. If charity organisations want to collect ready-made meals, they first have to receive permission to do so from us,” said Shamsa.

She explained that as part of the municipality’s regulations, organisations need to have vans that are equipped to store food in either hot or cold temperatures. Once the vans are approved by inspectors from the food control department, the vehicle then has to be registered with the vehicle testing and registration facility at Tasjeel.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 14:45 July 8, 2013

    A commendable step by the Municipality. I wish they would also run a drive to create better awareness of the spirit of Ramadhan to avoid this excess food preparation in the first place. Instead of leftovers, it would be more noble to donate intentionally for better living conditions, education etc.

    MAH, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:02 July 8, 2013

    A step in the right direction!!

    Ibrahim, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:47 July 8, 2013

    Wasting food is a sin in Islam and a big violation of the very concept of Ramadan. Other than the numerous health benefits, fasting teaches a moral to Muslims to feel and understand the hunger, deprivation and suffering of fellow human beings. Ahadith on this Jabir (RA) reported: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The Satan is present with any one of you in everything he does; he is present even when he eats food; so if any one of you drops a mouthful he should remove away anything filthy on it and eat it and not leave for the devil; and when he finishes (food) he should lick his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of his food the blessing lies.’” [Sahih Muslim, Book #023, Hadith #5046] I Urge to All. Please don't waste Water and Food. It reason for our livelihood. There are people around the world eating non delicious grass and drinking non potable water from gutter. Just care for them before wasting the food. The waste you create, is wasted in form of money. This money you can donate for this people being hungry for living. May we All take oath not to waste even a single mouth of food. Insha Allah.

    Mohammad Anam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:09 July 8, 2013

    Recommendable step. But please don't limit it only to Ramadan. I thoroughly feel disgusted when all over the year I see a lot of buffet in the restaurants and hotels going to trash bins every day and night. It is hard to believe. That left over is not even given to the waiters and servants there as they say they will get in a habit of stealing food (which I don't believe is going to happen). This rule should be implemented for the whole year and we will see happiness on the faces of lower working class and poor people.

    fans, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:08 July 8, 2013

    A very good step by the DM. It is better to continue this deed throughout the year rather than limiting it just to Ramadan.

    Mehdi Mamdani, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:58 July 8, 2013

    This is a very good and humanitarian initiative taken up by DM. I congratulate DM on the very noble thought of this. But we as Muslims are accountable in front of Allah for every single grain he gives us to satisfy our needs. And he gives us more so that we can be source to satisfiies others hunger. And if the Food is wasted in such a holy month may Allah SWT pardon us for such a henious crime on humanity as many African countries are realing under extreme shortage of Food and it is not right for us to squander food. Even Animals collect or hunt food as much as they can eat but we as humans the best species created by Allah SWT waste food does not make sense. I urger all Brothers and Sisters from all religon and community to avoid wasting food.

    Mohammed Masood Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:06 July 8, 2013

    Possitive step. Highly appreciated!!

    M.ABDUL RASACK, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

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