UAE Food Bank to distribute more than 10 million meals in 2021

In line with the instructions of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank, the bank announced that it has distributed over 10 million servings of food to various beneficiaries in 2021.

The charity initiative, launched to distribute surplus food to those in need, last year signed a total of 30 agreements with authorities and institutions to facilitate the safe distribution of surplus food to beneficiaries in the emirate. The bank has also attracted several sponsors from major institutions in the country.

Dawood Al Hajri, vice chairman of the board of trustees of the UAE Food Bank and director general of Dubai Municipality, said: “The UAE Food Bank works in line with 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, kindness and charity in society. Over the past year, the bank has continued to fulfil its noble mission with the support of community members, reflecting the strong solidarity within the UAE society.”

Al Hajri said that the UAE Food Bank is committed to giving all citizens and residents the opportunity to contribute to the initiative and to participate in achieving the goals of the food security policy, which aims to reduce food losses through the use of surplus food. The UAE Food Bank has distributed more than 37.5 million meals in the past five years and signed 125 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), he said.

Al Hajri explained that 32 tonnes of food parcels, equivalent to 32,000 meals, have been distributed to Senegal and the Philippines in collaboration with the Emirates Red Crescent. The UAE Food Bank has also installed 104 refrigerators in different parts of the country to collect individual donations and facilitate access to food for those in need. In Dubai alone, a total of 1,550 tonnes of food donated to the refrigerators were distributed.

As part of its activities, the UAE Food Bank participated in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Exhibition and Conference (DIHAD) and organised several training programmes for volunteers on food storage and packaging according to standards set by the Bank. The Bank has also held virtually live cooking workshops for some Dubai schools and government departments.

The UAE Food Bank organised 51 events and workshops in 2021 and participated in many global and humanitarian events, including International Day of Tolerance, World Food Day, Emirati Women’s Day, World Humanitarian Day and International Charity Day.

In collaboration with the Friends of Cancer Patients Association, the UAE Food Bank has facilitated the donation of food to eligible cancer patients and their families. It has also implemented several community initiatives for children of determined ages.

All food donated to the UAE Food Bank is stored in special containers that are kept at a certain temperature to prevent contamination. Each container, with a capacity of 34,000 kilograms, is equipped with a device to cool the heat and thick walls for insulation.

Food entering the Bank must be within the expiry date. The Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality carries out checks to ensure that the food is safe for distribution to recipients. Food products that do not meet safety and hygiene requirements are excluded.

The UAE Food Bank has partnered with Expo 2020 Dubai to distribute more than 50,000 meals during the first three months of the global event. The move was part of the bank’s efforts to promote the values of giving and philanthropy and strengthen the principles of solidarity and unity among people who came to the event from all over the world.

Teams from the UAE Food Bank and the Tarahum Charitable Trust, as well as volunteers from various government agencies, handed out the food. In the first three months of the global event, the total number of volunteers reached 269 and the total number of donors was seven.

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