‘UAE Food Bank Launches Year of Giving’

The UAE is not usually associated with poverty, yet while Dubai and Abu Dhabi have high per capita income, the nation’s other five emirates have a higher poverty level. Furthermore, there are thousands of foreign workers who badly need food assistance.

With this in mind, and to mark the 11th anniversary of his becoming the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has launched a Food Bank initiative that aims to completely eliminate food waste. The intention is to gather unwanted food from restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and other catering and retail outlets, and distribute them to the poor. It has been announced that Dubai Municipality will help with the collection, storage and distribution.

Sheikha Hind bint Makhtou, who will chair the Food Bank’s Board of Trustees, commented: “The UAE always supports people in need, regardless of their colour, sex or religion, in pursuance of the approach established by the founder of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”

A number of large companies and organisations, including the Jumeirah Group, Dubai’s International luxury hotel chain, have said that they will cooperate with the new Food Bank, as will Dubai World Trade Centre, which has announced that it will donate surplus food from its events.

The Food Bank will begin operations in Dubai, but the organisers hope to expand it throughout the Middle East in the near future.

This is a vitally important initiative, as a huge amount of food waste in the UAE is ending up in landfills. In Abu Dhabi, for instance, up to 50% of the total waste generated is food. This can eventually damage ecosystems and water supplies, and simply should not be happening when poor people can benefit from the food being thrown out. So what better way to kick-start the UAE’s Year of Giving than with this wonderful programme, which will promote less waste and at the same time feed the hungry?

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com


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