Dubai: Pakistan Association in Dubai (PAD) is reaching out to families and individuals across all nationalities to provide them with free food in the wake of coronavirus impact in the UAE.
The Welfare Wing of PAD has already distributed free food packages to more than 1500 families and individuals durignt the last two weeks. “We are distributing about 100 food packages every day to deserving people but now the demand is increasing as more people are contacting us for help,” Rizwan Fancy, Director Welfare at PAD, told Gulf News.
He said that PAD started providing food packages to the less fortunate members of the community who have been affected by the circumstances of COVID19 pandemic. “More than 1500 hundred from different nationalities have benefited from the food drive during the last two weeks,” added Fancy.
He also urged the community members to come forward and contribute to the noble cause to ensure smooth supply of food to destitute families and individuals. He said the PAD would continue to provide food to the needy people as long as it requires to do so.
Campaign gains momentum
The campaign has gained momentum during the last ten days and the food packages have been distributed mainly in Dubai and Sharjah while the PAD will reach out to community in other emirates this week.
Fancy said that food packages are given to needy people regardless of their nationality. “We try to provide food at the door steps of people who call us for help,” he added.
The food drive is supported by the community and the volunteers who have gone above and beyond to give their services, contributions and time towards a noble cause.
“We are overwhelmed with calls receiving countless requests for food packages from across the UAE. We are doing our best to reach out to each one of them personally,’ Fancy said.
“We have no borders or barriers in this time of need, we do not differentiate between a Pakistani and a non-Pakistani.”
The food package includes flour, rice, milk powder, sugar, black tea, oil, salt, and three kinds of lentils. One food package is good enough for a family of four for at least thee weeks.
The teams involved in packing and delivering food practice social distancing and maintain high hygiene standards. Therefore, door-to-door distributions are strategised to avoid gathering; not a single person has come to PAD for collection.
Who gets free food
PAD has not announced its campaign for food packages on social media but it has been receiving requests through whatsapp groups and Facebook messages. The food packages are given to those who are on visit visas and are stranded, there are some who are not paid by their companies or lost their jobs due to the corona crisis. They also include some freelancers who no source of income due to temporary closure of businesses.
“We have been inundated with requests from diverse nationalities such as Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Bengalis, Kenyans, Nigerians and people from the Levant region. PAD takes pride in serving the community at large and following the principles of tolerance and social cohesion” added Fancy who is personally monitoring the entire process of the food campaign from packaging to deliveries.
Dr Faisal Ikram, President of PAD said: “All this has been possible through the support from the community and the assistance of our passionate volunteers who believe in our mantra of giving.”
“The local authorities have played a tremendous role in alleviating the fears and concerns of the citizens, the Pakistan consulate has also played an integral role in providing food packages to the needy within the Pakistani community,” noted Dr Ikram.
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