The charitable initiative, launched to distribute surplus food to those in need, signed a total of 30 agreements with authorities and establishments last year to facilitate the safe distribution of surplus food to beneficiaries in the emirate.
Under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, the Bank announced that it has distributed more than 10 million meals to various beneficiaries in 2021.
The charitable initiative, launched to distribute surplus food to those in need, signed a total of 30 agreements with authorities and establishments last year to facilitate the safe distribution of surplus food to beneficiaries in the emirate. The Bank has also attracted several sponsorships from major establishments in the country.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank and Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said, “The UAE Food Bank works under the directives and vision of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum to promote social solidarity and strengthen the values of giving, goodness and charity in the community. Over the past year, the Bank has continued to carry out its noble mission with the support of community members, which reflects the strong solidarity within the UAE society.“
Al Hajri said that the UAE Food Bank seeks to provide all citizens and residents the opportunity to contribute to the initiative as well as take part in meeting the objectives of the food security policy, which aims to reduce food wastage by benefiting from surplus food. Over the last five years, the UAE Food Bank distributed more than 37.5 million meals and signed 125 memorandums of understanding, he noted.
He explained that 32 tonnes of food parcels, which is equivalent to 32,000 meals, were donated to Senegal and Philippines in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent. The UAE Food Bank has also set up 104 fridges in various areas across the country to collect individual donations and facilitate access to food by people in need. A total of 1,550 tonnes of food donated to the fridges were distributed in Dubai alone.
UAE Food Bank participated in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development (DIHAD) exhibition and conference and organised several training programmes for volunteers on food storing and packaging in accordance with standards set by the Bank. The Bank also conducted live cooking workshops for some Dubai schools and government departments virtually.
The UAE Food Bank organised 51 events and workshops in 2021 and participated in many global and humanitarian occasions, including International Day for Tolerance, World Food Day, Emirati Women’s Day, World Humanitarian Day and International Day of Charity.
In cooperation with the Friends of Cancer Patients Association, the UAE Food Bank facilitated food donations to eligible cancer patients and their families. It also carried out several community initiatives for children of determination.
Any food donated to the UAE 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 cooling device and thick walls for insulation.
The food items received by the Bank are required to be within their validity period. The Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality carries out checks to ensure the food is safe to be distributed to beneficiaries. Food that does not meet the food safety and hygiene requirements is excluded.
Food donations are delivered to the UAE Food Bank site and are then distributed to charities in dedicated vehicles to ensure the food is kept safe during transport.
The UAE Food Bank has also signed agreements with animal sacrifice apps to allow the public to make meat donations to the UAE Food Bank. In 2021, donations made through the apps to the UAE Food Bank reached more than four tonnes, which reflects the community’s increased awareness of food sustainability, Al Hajri said.
The UAE Food Bank, in cooperation with Expo 2020 Dubai, distributed more than 50,000 meals during the first three months of the global event. The move was part of the Banks efforts to promote the values of giving and charity and strengthen the principles of solidarity and unity among people visiting the event from all around the world.
The meals were distributed by teams from the UAE Food Bank and the Tarahum Charity Foundation, as well as volunteers from various government entities. During the first three months of the global event, the total number of volunteers reached 269 while the total number of donors was seven.