UAE Food Bank distributed more than 10 million meals to the needy in 2021.
This was done with the help of several authorities, establishments and companies that safely distributed food to people across the country.
“Over the past year, the food bank has continued to carry out its noble mission with the support of community members, which reflects the strong solidarity within the UAE society,” said Dawoud Al Hajri, deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank and director-general of Dubai Municipality.
Mr Al Hajri said citizens and residents have the opportunity to contribute to the initiative and help in reducing food waste by giving it to those in need.
He said 32 tonnes of food parcels — equivalent to 32,000 meals — were donated to Senegal and the Philippines in co-operation with the Emirates Red Crescent.
The bank has also set up 104 fridges in different areas across the country to collect individual donations. A total of 1,550 tonnes of food donated to the fridges were distributed in Dubai alone.
The bank joined forces with the Friends of Cancer Patients Association to enable food donations to cancer patients and their families. It also carried out several community initiatives for children with disabilities.
Any food donated to the Food Bank is stored in specific containers that are set at a particular temperature to prevent contamination. Each container has a capacity of 34,000 kilograms and is equipped with a heat and cooling device and thick walls for insulation.
The food items received by the bank must have “use by” and “best before” dates. The Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality carries out checks to ensure the food is safe to be distributed.
The bank has also signed agreements with animal sacrifice apps to allow the public to make meat donations. These apps include Al Mawashi, Turki, Dhabayih Aldaar, Al Anoud Slaughters, Tender for meat trade, Shabab Al Freej and Zabihati.
In 2021, more than four tonnes of meat were donated through the apps, Mr Al Hajri said.
The bank also distributed more than 50,000 meals during the first three months of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Over the past five years, the Food Bank has distributed more than 37.5 million meals.