UAE Food bank
UAE Food bank

Dubai: The UAE Food Bank on Thursday announced the launch of five initiatives through which it will distribute five million meals this Ramadan.

This follows the launch of the Ramadan initiative by Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Supreme Chairperson of the UAE Food Bank. On Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed had announced the launch of the initiative.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the UAE Food Bank revealed that the initiative aims to distribute 166,666 meals daily to feed over half a million families and more than three million workers.

An initiative under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) umbrella, the UAE Food Bank focuses on effectively managing surplus food, minimising waste, and globally distributing it to the beneficiaries. Its effort underscores the values of kindness, generosity, charity, and social welfare.

Five initiatives

The bank’s commitment to supplying meals to beneficiaries encompasses diverse sub-initiatives and campaigns, including the ‘Your Iftar is on Us’ campaign, the ‘No for Wasting Food initiative, the ‘Cook of Thousand Meals’ initiative, ‘Food Parcel,’ and ‘Iftar with the Workers.’

Additionally, 25 educational programmes will be implemented to raise awareness on environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and volunteering. Anticipating widespread support, the bank expects a large number of strategic partners and supporters from food facilities, hotels, and companies, exceeding 350.

5000 volunteers

More than 5,000 volunteers will participate in supporting the bank’s initiatives throughout the month of Ramadan. Also, the bank will sign five partnership agreements aimed at strengthening its efforts in efficiently managing surplus food and minimising waste in cooperation with the private sector.

Dawoud Al Hajri, deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, underscored the significance of the bank’s initiatives during the holy month of Ramadan, highlighting the bank’s role as a comprehensive humanitarian system and a pioneering global institution that prioritises the value of food provision.

Cutting carbon emission

Al Hajri emphasised the bank’s goal to divert 975 tons of food waste, away from landfills during Ramadan, equivalent to planting 102,135 trees annually. This commitment aligns with the bank’s dedication to environmental sustainability, aiming to create a positive environmental impact in all campaigns and initiatives. These efforts also contribute to the broader objectives of reducing carbon emissions and achieving a 30 per cent reduction in food waste by 2027.

‘Your Iftar is on Us’ initiative

Within the framework of ‘Your Iftar is on Us’ initiative, the UAE Food Bank is set to gather meals for distribution to beneficiaries both within and outside the UAE. This initiative aims to provide 350,000 meals, generously donated by more than 50 organisations. The campaign will be organised by seven entities, with the participation of several volunteers collaborating to ensure its successful implementation.

Donate a Food Parcel Initiative

The goal of ‘Donate a Food Parcel’ initiative is to gather contributions in the form of food parcels through the purchase of vouchers redeemable at local retail stores. These food parcels are projected to supply up to 1.5 million meals, aligning with the UAE Food Bank’s commitment to ensuring families have sufficient access to food and actively participate in the fight against hunger.

Iftar with Workers initiative

The UAE Food Bank is organising an initiative focused on providing iftar meals to more than 2,000 workers in Dubai. The primary goal of this initiative is to foster community solidarity and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of workers.

The Cook of Thousand Meals initiative

The UAE Food Bank is set to organise ‘Cook of Thousand Meals’ competition, an event convening aspiring chefs to cook and distribute 4,000 meals daily over five days during the holy month of Ramadan in the UAE. This collaborative initiative is being organised in partnership with Taya Production.

Furthermore, the bank will collaborate with 200 donors from fruit and vegetable markets, commercial enterprises, and wholesale markets to redistribute surplus food and prepare meals adhering to high-quality standards for the well-being of workers, with a goal to provide up to two million meals. Additionally, any surplus cooked meals from local restaurants and hotels will also be distributed.

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‘No for Wasting Food’ initiative

The UAE Food Bank’s ‘Food Rescue’ initiative strives to recycle unsuitable food for human consumption, diverting it from landfills and transforming it into fertilisers. This will be implemented in cooperation with the National Food Loss and Waste initiative ‘Nema’ and partnership with the private sector. The initiative aims to recycle 1.5 million meals of surplus food and turn it into fertiliser that will be distributed to farmers in the Hatta region. Fighting hunger, supporting food security

With a focus on managing surplus food, minimising waste, and distributing food to beneficiaries around the world, the bank operates within a well-structured institutional framework. These efforts align seamlessly with the UAE’s core values of kindness and generosity, its commitment to humanitarian work, and its support for global food security, sustainable development goals, and the fight against hunger.

Al Hajri said: “With these initiatives, our objective is to promote responsible food management and reduce food waste. We further aspire to cultivate a sense of social responsibility, encourage volunteerism, and actively engage in gathering and distributing financial and food donations to beneficiaries. Our efforts are aimed at instilling values of compassion, generosity, and solidarity within the community, ensuring the efficient distribution of surplus food to the widest possible segment during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Since its inception in 2017, the UAE Food Bank has successfully distributed meals to over 35 million beneficiaries, both locally and globally. In the past year alone, its initiatives and campaigns reached over 18 million and 617,000 beneficiaries worldwide, implementing more than 105 awareness programs with about 9,843 participants.