Food iftar Prophet mosque saudi
Worshippers have their Iftar meals at the Prophet’s Mosque. Image Credit: The Agency for Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque

Cairo: Saudi authorities in charge of the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city of Medina are coordinating with a food charity to make use of leftover from Iftar fast-ending meals served at the holy site during the current Islamic month of Ramadan.

The Agency of the General Presidency for Affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque said it is working with the food preservation group, Hefz Al Neiamaah, to make use of food surplus from the Iftar banquets, re-sort it out and distribute to those in need.

Around 980 kilograms in food surplus from the Iftar meals at the mosque were collected during the first half of Ramadan, the agency said. Fifty-five volunteers were engaged in the effort through the mosque.

Saudi Arabia’s General Food Security Authority (GFSA), a government body, has recently launched a campaign to urge the public to reduce food waste during Ramadan when food consumption usually increases.

The drive, titled “With Frugality, It lasts”, aims at raising public awareness about the importance of limiting food waste and aspects of extravagance during Ramadan.

GFSA cited findings of a study showing that food waste reaches around 33 per cent with an estimated value of about SR40 billion per year in Saudi Arabia.

Muslims have to abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan, which started in Saudi Arabia on March 23.

Some 15.7 million Muslims performed prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina in the first half of this Ramadan, according to official figures.

The month of Ramadan usually marks the peak season for Muslims heading to the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in Makkah, to perform Umrah or minor pilgrimage, and visit the Prophet’s Mosque, which houses Rawda Al Sharifa where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is located.