UAE Food Bank launches initiative to distribute 5 million meals during Ramadan

  • The Bank aims at distributing an average of 166,666 meals daily to beneficiaries both locally and internationally.
  • The initiative aims to provide food to over half a million families and more than three million workers.
  • Five sub-initiatives have been implemented to collect and distribute surplus food and minimize food waste; in addition to 25 educational programs
  • Over 5,000 volunteers will participate in supporting the implementation of the bank’s activities during Ramadan.
  • More than 350 strategic partners, including food facilities, hotels, and restaurants, will be involved in the initiative.
  • The Food Bank has reached 35 million beneficiaries locally and globally since its establishment in 2017.

Al Hajri:

  • “The United Arab Emirates has been dedicated to consolidating the principles of kindness and generosity, through its commitment to humanitarian work and supportive initiatives aimed at advancing global food security.”
  • “Enabling the bank to act as a comprehensive humanitarian system, efficiently overseeing surplus food, minimizing waste, and facilitating global distribution to beneficiaries.”
  • “Aiming to divert 975 tons of food from landfills during Ramadan, equivalent to planting 102,135 trees annually.”

Under the directives and supervision of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the UAE Food Bank, an initiative under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) umbrella, the UAE Food Bank has implemented an initiative that focuses on effectively managing surplus food, minimizing waste, and globally distributing it to the beneficiaries. The initiative for the holy month of Ramadan aims to gather and distribute over 5 million meals to deserving individuals through collaborative efforts with partners. The initiative aims to distribute with a daily rate of 166,666 meals to feed over half a million families and more than three million workers. This effort underscores the values of kindness, generosity, charity, and social welfare.

The bank’s commitment to supplying meals to beneficiaries encompasses diverse sub-initiatives and campaigns, including the ‘Your Iftar is on Us’ campaign, the ‘No for Wasting Food initiative, the ‘Cook of Thousand Meals’ initiative, ‘Food Parcel,’ and ‘Iftar with the Workers.’ Additionally, 25 educational programs will be implemented to raise awareness on environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and volunteering. Anticipating widespread support, the bank expects a large number of strategic partners and supporters from food facilities, hotels, and companies, exceeding 350.

Over 5,000 volunteers will participate in supporting the bank’s initiatives throughout the month of Ramadan. Also, the bank will sign five partnership agreements aimed at strengthening its efforts in efficiently managing surplus food and minimizing waste in cooperation with the private sector.

H.E. Dawoud Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, underscored the significance of the bank’s initiatives during the holy month of Ramadan, highlighting the bank’s role as a comprehensive humanitarian system and a pioneering global institution that prioritizes the value of food provision. With a focus on managing surplus food, minimizing waste, and distributing food to beneficiaries around the world, the bank operates within a well-structured institutional framework. These efforts align seamlessly with the UAE’s core values of kindness and generosity, its commitment to humanitarian work, and its support for global food security, sustainable development goals, and the fight against hunger.

Al Hajri said: “With these initiatives, our objective is to promote responsible food management and reduce food waste. We further aspire to cultivate a sense of social responsibility, encourage volunteerism, and actively engage in gathering and distributing financial and food donations to beneficiaries. Our efforts are aimed at instilling values of compassion, generosity, and solidarity within the community, ensuring the efficient distribution of surplus food to the widest possible segment during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Al Hajri emphasized the bank’s goal to divert 975 tons of food waste, away from landfills during Ramadan, equivalent to planting 102,135 trees annually. This commitment aligns with the bank’s dedication to environmental sustainability, aiming to create a positive environmental impact in all campaigns and initiatives. These efforts also contribute to the broader objectives of reducing carbon emissions and achieving a 30 per cent reduction in food waste by 2027.

‘Your Iftar is on Us’ initiative

Within the framework of ‘Your Iftar is on Us’ initiative, the UAE Food Bank is set to gather meals for distribution to beneficiaries both within and outside the UAE. This initiative aims to provide 350,000 meals, generously donated by more than 50 organizations. The campaign will be organized by seven entities, with the participation of several volunteers collaborating to ensure its successful implementation.

Donate a Food Parcel Initiative

The goal of ‘Donate a Food Parcel’ initiative is to gather contributions in the form of food parcels through the purchase of vouchers redeemable at local retail stores. These food parcels are projected to supply up to 1.5 million meals, aligning with the UAE Food Bank’s commitment to ensuring families have sufficient access to food and actively participate in the fight against hunger.

Iftar with Workers initiative

The UAE Food Bank is organizing an initiative focused on providing iftar meals to over 2,000 workers in Dubai. The primary goal of this initiative is to foster community solidarity and acknowledge the invaluable contributions of workers.

The Cook of Thousand Meals initiative

The UAE Food Bank is set to organize ‘Cook of Thousand Meals’ competition, an event convening aspiring chefs to cook and distribute 4,000 meals daily over five days during the holy month of Ramadan in the UAE. This collaborative initiative is being organized in partnership with Taya Production.

Furthermore, the bank will collaborate with 200 donors from fruit and vegetable markets, commercial enterprises, and wholesale markets to redistribute surplus food and prepare meals adhering to high-quality standards for the well-being of workers, with a goal to provide up to two million meals. Additionally, any surplus cooked meals from local restaurants and hotels will also be distributed.

‘No for Wasting Food’ initiative

The UAE Food Bank’s ‘Food Rescue’ initiative strives to recycle unsuitable food for human consumption, diverting it from landfills and transforming it into fertilizers. This will be implemented in cooperation with the National Food Loss and Waste initiative ‘Neama’ and partnership with the private sector. The initiative aims to recycle 1.5 million meals of surplus food and turn it into fertilizer that will be distributed to farmers in the Hatta region.

Since its inception in 2017, the UAE Food Bank has successfully distributed meals to over 35 million beneficiaries, both locally and globally. In the past year alone, its initiatives and campaigns reached over 18 million and 617,000 beneficiaries worldwide, implementing more than 105 awareness programs with about 9,843 participants.