Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates: 1.3 million meals donated from food surpluses in one week – News

Unused food from hotels, restaurants and supermarkets has been delivered to underprivileged families across the country



Photo by Shihab

Published: Thu 21 Apr 2022, 16:21

Last update: Thu 21 April 2022, 17:49

A total of 1.3 million meals have been secured to the needy from food surpluses in the UAE, surpassing the Ramadan campaign target of “1 million meals saved” in just one week.

Launched by the UAE Food Bank as part of the massive 1 Billion Meals Campaign, the 1 Million Meals Saved initiative recycles unused food from hotels, food establishments, supermarkets, food markets fruits and vegetables and delivers them to disadvantaged families and workers across the country. .

Officials said the initiative is expected to provide two million meals to low-income individuals and families in the UAE by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

While the goal was to guarantee 33,000 meals a day, Dr Issam Sharaf Al Hashmi, head of Dubai Municipality’s food trade control section, said the campaign saw the preparation and distribution of 70 000 meals per day in labor camps and underserved areas in cooperation with different partners.

“We have stepped up our efforts this Ramadan to reach as many beneficiaries as possible,” Al Hashmi said, noting that the campaign reduces food waste while providing food aid to people in need.

“Instead of going to landfills, extra food from markets is repurposed and distributed to low-income families and individuals.”

Food parcels donated by the fruit and vegetable market, grocery stores and supermarkets accounted for 80% of the food distributed. Al Hashmi said 800,000 meals have been secured from grocery kits, which provide 80 meals each.

Hotel and restaurant meals so far accounted for 11% of the campaign total, while partner hot meals accounted for 9%.

The initiative has attracted more than 200 partner food establishments, supermarkets and hotels who donate excess food to the UAE Food Bank, which in turn distributes the meals through charities and organizations. government entities.

Food is subject to rigorous checks before distribution.

The 1 Million Meals Saved campaign is driven by the vision of ending hunger and achieving ‘zero’ food waste.

Four sub-initiatives

The “1 Million Saved Meals” distributes meals through four sub-initiatives: Conscious Kitchens Initiative, Hotel Ramadan Buffet Initiative, Ramadan Basket of Fruits and Vegetables, and Ramadan Meer Initiative.

> The Conscious Kitchens initiative sees surplus food collected from grocery stores, supermarkets and factories, cooked in private catering companies and distributed as meals to labor camps and low-income areas in the UAE.

> The Hôtel Ramadan Buffet initiative collects food surpluses fit for consumption at the iftar buffets, packages them into meals and delivers them to the beneficiaries.

> The Ramadan Meer initiative collects basic foodstuffs from cooperative societies, supermarkets and retail stores and delivers them to UAE Food Bank warehouses where they are packed in parcels containing the ingredients needed for preparation of a nutritious meal, then distributed to the beneficiaries.

> The Ramadan Fruit and Vegetable Basket collects surplus fruits and vegetables from the market, piles them in baskets and distributes them to disadvantaged individuals and families, along with canned and ready-to-make grocery kits.

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