‘Year of Giving in Action’

 

The establishment of the UAE Food Bank is a much-needed enterprise and evidence of the Government’s commitment to the Year of Giving. Initiated by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Minister of Defence and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, the food bank will work with authorities and charities to collect excess food from hotels, supermarkets, restaurants and farms in order to feed people in need.

Launched during Ramadan, this initiative is being run by Dubai Municipality, which has asked Al Halabi to support it with 100 fridges, all of which will be distributed amongst the neighbourhoods of the city. We spoke with the Dubai Municipality Assistant Director General for Environment, Health and Safety Control, Mr. Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi, to find out more.

First, we asked about how food will be collected and distributed? “The process is simple yet effective, with different micro-sites throughout Dubai acting as food collection points for a variety of approved food establishments. The food collected must meet all of the requirements laid out by Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department,” Mr. Al Awadhi explains. “The approved charities from the Islamic Affairs Department then collect the food and give it to the people in need.”

Another facet of the initiative revolves around the distribution of 100 fridges within mosques, which will give people the opportunity to participate in the UAE Food Bank project, whilst raising awareness of the need to reduce food waste. Trained volunteers will ensure that the food is stored in the fridges correctly and is safe for consumption. “Al Halabi is one of the most well-known and trusted establishments in the food industry, a company with the expertise to be able to support the UAE Food Bank by providing the highest quality of refrigeration equipment,” says Mr. Al Awadhi when discussing the reasons behind approaching Al Halabi.

This is only the beginning, too, as Mr. Al Awadhi confirms: “There will be more micro-sites launched in Dubai and throughout the UAE. In fact, the UAE Food Bank scheme will spread all over the region. Naturally, there will be different plans and regulations covering a variety of aspects, including the environment, awareness, helping people in need, and efficient and effective operation.

“Reducing food wastage and redirecting good food to those who may otherwise go hungry not only creates greater efficiency, but also greater social responsibility. It is therefore apt that the UAE Food Bank initiative is being launched during Ramadan,” he concludes.

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

 



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