Dubai: Dubai will get five more Food Bank branches, thanks to a Dh5 million sponsorship from Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).

The UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality recently signed the sponsorship agreement with DIB, making it one of the key sponsors of the UAE Food Bank, the civic body said in a press release issued on Monday.

According to the agreement, DIB shall offer permanent sponsorship to five UAE Food Bank sites, the press release stated.

The agreement was signed by Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality and deputy chairman of the board of trustees of the UAE Food Bank, and Abdullah Ali Al Hamli, board member and managing director of DIB.

The locations of the new branches were not mentioned and it was not immediately clear by when those branches will be operational.

The UAE Food Bank was launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as part of the Year of Giving initiative announced by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It aims to collect surplus food from food establishments to be donated to the needy through registered charities and thereby cut down food wastage.

Gulf News had earlier reported opening of the first branch of the Food Bank in Al Quoz.

The DIB donation of Dh5 million to Dubai Municipality to set up food charity centres had facilitated distribution of more than 52 tonnes of food items in the first four months of its operation since April 19. Two other branches sponsored by the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation are expected to open in Satwa and Muhaisnah in October.

According to the agreement, DIB is committed to provide UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality with Dh5 million in cash, and coordinate with them to promote and advertise UAE Food Bank through various media outlets, websites and social networking sites, as well as participate in various activities and forums within and outside the country.

UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality are responsible for supervising and managing UAE Food Bank sites for collection and distribution of surplus food, providing all necessary permits for containers to store surplus food and marketing and promoting of the UAE Food Bank.

Speaking after the agreement signing ceremony, Lootah said that the UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality have adopted a community initiative in partnership with a number of sponsors to serve their role in community service.

Lootah said the initiative is part of the keenness of the two entities to strengthen cooperation with Dubai’s philanthropists in the field of preserving food. He said the UAE Food Bank wishes to provide a new service that enables the society to benefit from the surplus food in a better, healthy and organised way.

Lootah said, the UAE Food Bank, which is an integrated humanitarian system to establish the value of feeding, includes hotels, food factories, farms, hospitality establishments, supermarkets and a large number of volunteers.

“It deals professionally with surplus fresh and canned food under the supervision of the authorities concerned and distributes it inside and outside the country in cooperation with a network of local and international humanitarian and charity organisations. The bank is partnering with major hotel chains, supermarkets, food factories and farms and will open its doors to volunteers to contribute to the distribution of food inside and outside the country.”

Lootah said that providing food to the needy is among the distinguished qualities and the values of the people of the UAE, and the legacy of the Father of the Nation Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

“Today, we strive through this new establishment, to involve the largest number of community organisations and volunteers in a new system for charity and giving, following the footsteps of our forefathers,” he said.

He said that the launch of the UAE Food Bank, which falls under the umbrella of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, draws special significance as an initiative that has local and regional dimensions, and global human values.

Al Hamli said: “We are committed to supporting and sponsoring this national initiative in the Year of Giving. With this, we have become the first bank to become a key sponsor and supporter of this initiative.”

He added that DIB has become one of the most important institutions in the UAE which has a clear footprint in many areas of charitable work, the most significant being the support and sponsorship of national initiatives launched by Their Highnesses, Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, which aims to meet the needs of the poor and the needy both inside and outside the country.