Dubai: The UAE Food Bank today announced that it provided 5,104,398 meals to beneficiaries during Ramadan, surpassing the initiative’s goal of distributing 3 million meals by more than 70%.
The initiative was held under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank.
The contributions were made by the UAE Food Bank, affiliated with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, in collaboration with several partners, and included food packages with essential supplies, 2,535,440 cooked meals from food establishments and the ‘Your Harees on Us’ initiative.
Over 720 volunteers participated in the Food Bank’s initiatives, which enabled it to reach more than 5.1 million people, including 495,197 households and 2,628,413 workers within and beyond the UAE. In addition, the Bank provided 292.7 tonnes of food to the Emirates Red Crescent, which was distributed to those in need in Syria and Turkey as part of relief campaigns. These efforts were made in collaboration with the Bank’s partners to ensure that food is accessible to everyone globally.
Spirit of giving
Dawoud Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the UAE Food Bank, said: “The UAE Food Bank’s initiatives during the holy month of Ramadan were successful in managing food surplus, reducing food waste, and providing quality food to numerous beneficiaries both within and outside the UAE. We are pleased with the fact that the initiative outperformed its objectives and hit 170 per cent of its target. These numbers highlight the Emirati society’s strong humanitarian and societal principles of generosity and giving, which the Bank aims to spread globally.”
He added: “The UAE Food Bank follows a humanitarian framework that aims to manage food surplus, provide it to those in need both locally and globally, and reduce food waste. We deeply appreciate the efforts of our partners, charity organisations, donors, and volunteers, who tirelessly worked with the Bank to implement these initiatives, ensuring that the food reached those who needed it.”
Manal bin Yaroof, Chairperson of the UAE Food Bank Steering Committee, attributed the Bank’s success and exceeding its targets to the tireless efforts and strong coordination of its partners, social and charitable organisations, food establishments and companies, various events from hotels and restaurants, and delivery companies. “By working together, we were able to accept donations and transfer them to the Bank or charity organisations to assist individuals in need,” she added.
During Ramadan, the Bank conducted 21 awareness programmes for community members and volunteers. Numerous food establishments and companies contributed to the provision of meals, with the UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group leading the way with around 510,000 meals and the Chalhoup Group contributing approximately 333,360 meals. Additionally, multiple fruits and vegetables merchants donated 892,358 meals.
The Bank collaborated with recycling businesses in the private sector to recycle food that was no longer suitable for human consumption. During Ramadan, 908,145kg of food — including 367,409kg of food waste that was recycled, surpassing the target of 200,000kg by more than 83 per cent — was diverted from landfills and converted into 73,482kg of organic fertiliser. Moreover, 540,736kg of edible food was distributed to those in need. By doing so, the Bank was able to reduce carbon emissions by 2,306,687kg, equivalent to planting 96,112 trees annually.
Alliances and partnerships
During Ramadan, the UAE Food Bank formed partnerships and signed agreements with several companies, including the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative (Nema), Chin Chin, LG, Goumbook, CALO, and ReLoop.
The Bank’s initiatives, including ‘3 Million Meals’ and ‘Your Harees on Us,’ aimed to manage food surplus, distribute it efficiently, and reduce food waste by integrating its management at all stages of collection and distribution. These initiatives also aimed to promote social responsibility among the Bank, its partners, and society members, leading to increased participation in volunteer work and improved efficiency in the Bank’s operations, as well as in the collection and distribution of financial and food donations to people in need.