Tonnes of pears are being loaded for donation by The Food Bank in Al Quoz, Dubai. Image Credit: Janice Ponce de Leon/Gulf News

Dubai: More than five tonnes of premium Korean pears donated to the UAE Food Bank — the largest one-time donation so far — were distributed to families in need and workers on Friday.

Spinneys delivered a container full of Korean pears at the newly opened UAE Food Bank branch off Al Khail Road on Friday. Some 30 food banks are planned to be opened across the emirates.

The UAE Food Bank project aims to reduce food wastage and divert all edible surplus food to people in need in the UAE and abroad. Doing so will save an estimated Dh4 billion worth of food wasted in the UAE every year while benefiting the needy as far as in Somalia in the future.

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Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes or around one third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted.

Dr Abdullah Badarani from Dubai Municipality said a big team of inspectors from the civic body’s Food Safety Department checked the quality of the donated goods to ensure they were fit for consumption before giving them to the charities.

Colette Shannon, communications manager at Spinneys, told Gulf News a total of 350 boxes of Korean pears were donated.

“Spinneys are delighted to be able to donate these pears to the UAE’s Food Bank — although they are edible the pears were rejected at our warehouse because they did not meet our quality standards for sale (bruising and some spots). The Food Bank allows us to reduce food wastage while at the same time supporting this government initiative for local charities,” Shannon told Gulf News.

The donation was divided equally among five charities namely Dar Al Ber Society, Beit Al Khair Society, Tarahum Charity Foundation, Al Ishan Charity Association, and Dubai Charity Association.

Yousuf Abdul Hamid, from the Al Ishan Charity Association, said 600 registered families in Ajman will benefit from the donation.

“If the family has many members, we will give one full box that contains roughly 30 pears. If not, we will give them according to their need,” he said.