Food bank drive feeds thousands of needy youngsters in Ajman

Sheikha Mahra bint Ammar Al Nuaimi, the 10-year-old daughter of Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid, was among those volunteering to distribute meals.

Volunteers distribute food boxes at Manar Al Eman Charity School as part of UAE Food Bank Initiative in Ajman. Satish Kumar / The National
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AJMAN // More than 3,500 charity school pupils and 500 orphans tucked into free biryani as part of the UAE Food Bank Initiative.

The youngsters sat down to eat at Manar Al Eman Charity School with 200 volunteers, including members of the emirate’s Royal Family, who over the course of the day handed out meal boxes containing rice with vegetables, chicken or beef and other snacks.

It was the first time boxes of donated food were handed out in the emirate as part of the initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on January 2 to help reduce food waste and feed those in need in the UAE and abroad.

The project is part of the Year of Giving initiative.

Sheikha Mahra bint Ammar Al Nuaimi, 10-year-old daughter of Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid, said: “I came to give the kids food because they do not have much food.

“I am very pleased because I am helping them and I love doing charitable work to spread good everywhere. The smiles that we planted on the faces of students and volunteers are heartwarming and were beautiful to see.”

Rawda Al Meri, an Emirati Grade 10 pupil at Dubai International School, said it was her first time taking part in volunteer work. She was encouraged to do more in future.

“I instantly accepted being a volunteer because the feeling of helping and giving to needy people is beautiful,” said Rawda, 14.

“After this I will start contributing in helping people in need because the giving is very beneficial for the giver, who becomes helpful, and the receiver, who becomes happy.”

Yara Saadeh, a Grade 7 pupil at Ajman Academy School, regularly gives her spare time for charitable activities.

“This time I nominated myself to come here and give needy students a simple meal to draw the smile on their faces. That teaches me to be a better person,” said the 11-year-old Jordanian.

The orphans and their carers also received food boxes at the school in Al Jurf, which provides free education to underprivileged youngsters.

“I am very happy today because I got a meal for the first time at the school. I will take it to my house and give it to my younger siblings,” said Yemeni Rashid Mohammed, a Grade 4 pupil.

“If I have anything, such as food, toys, clothes, I will give them to all needy kids as these guys did with us.”

Another Yemeni, Maram Ahmad, a Grade 6 pupil, said the volunteers motivated her to help the needy.

“I really thank them for their coming and giving us a few minutes of their time,” said Maram, 10 “Their action makes me happy especially because it is charitable work from our brothers and sisters in the UAE.”​

Mona Al Kindi, events director at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said the event complemented the UAE Food Bank campaign.

“It is the second event in the second emirate,” Ms Al Kindi said. “The first was four days ago in Dubai where we visited labourers at their work sites. Today we are visiting 3,500 male and female students.”