UAE Food Bank launches Ramadan 2023 drive to deliver three million meals to the needy

Initiative aims to feed the hungry in the Emirates and overseas

The UAE Food Bank will work with Emirates Red Crescent, hotels and iftar tents to gather food for the needy. Photo: UAE Food Bank
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The UAE has launched a Ramadan drive to deliver three million meals and food parcels to the needy at home and abroad.

The humanitarian initiative has been directed by Sheikha Hind Bint Juma Al Maktoum, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The campaign will be carried out by the UAE Food Bank, for which Sheikh Hind is chairwoman of the board of trustees, throughout the holy month.

The scheme will also aim to manage food surplus and raise awareness of the crucial goal to achieve zero food waste.

“The UAE Food Bank’s initiatives are aligned with the UAE’s core principles of goodness, benevolence and sustainability,” said Dawoud Al Hajri, deputy chairman of the body's board of trustees.

“Through its diverse activities and initiatives, the UAE Food Bank aims to promote these values globally, in accordance with its vision and mission of managing food surplus, reducing waste, and delivering food to beneficiaries locally and worldwide.”

Mr Al Hajri said the effort was in line with Sheikha Hind's vision to ensure “the provision and delivery of food and nutrition to those who deserve it during Ramadan”.

Team effort to address hunger

The food bank will work with Emirates Red Crescent, hotels and restaurants, and iftar tents to gather food for those less fortunate.

“The bank will work with these partners to gather three million meals, which will be transported to the bank and then sent outside the UAE in collaboration with the Emirates Red Crescent,” said Manal bin Yaarouf, chairperson of the UAE Food Bank Steering Committee.

“Hotels and Iftar tents will also play a vital role in collecting any surplus food, and authorities will work together to identify the optimal time and location to deliver this food to the bank and charitable organisations.

“By delivering high-quality food and preventing food waste through the integrated management of surplus food in all phases of gathering and distribution, the bank’s initiatives aim to raise awareness about the importance of reducing food waste and ensuring optimal distribution, contributing to the global fight against hunger.”

Serving up support

Ms Yaarouf said the UAE Food Bank had also launched the ‘Your Harees on us’ initiative in collaboration with Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department to promote social responsibility and volunteering among community members.

“The initiative encourages restaurants to reserve at least one portion of Harees, a traditional Emirati dish, and distribute it to Iftar tents. This initiative aims to foster the values of giving and generosity,” Ms Yaarouf said.

The food bank will select participating restaurants, schedule the distribution of meals and recruit volunteers.

It will work with Iftar tents to arrange the delivery of the meals, establish a process for families who wish to contribute to the project and ensure that the meals reach those in most need of food.

The UAE Food Bank distributed more than 11 million meals to people in the UAE and overseas during 2022.

The UN honoured Sheikha Hind for leading a charitable initiative that delivered millions of meals to needy people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UAE's '10 Million Meals' campaign, which operated throughout Ramadan in 2020, exceeded its own lofty target by providing 15.3 million meals and food parcels to low-income families and those hardest hit by the outbreak.

UAE Food Bank — in pictures

Updated: March 23, 2023, 5:07 AM