The Emirates Food Bank announced that it has distributed 27,362 tons of foodstuffs to the beneficiaries, since its establishment in the beginning of 2017 until the end of 2020, of which 9,086 tons were during the last year only, while the number of agreements signed by the bank reached 112 agreements at the state level. It included local partners and regional memoranda of understanding with food banks in the region, in addition to food establishments with the aim of benefiting from surplus food in a healthy and organized manner. Six new branches of the bank were opened at the state level, and work is underway on an expansion plan to increase the bank’s branches to cover all the emirates of the country and its various regions. .
Daoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Food Bank, said: “We are working to translate the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board Emirates Food Bank trustees to reduce food waste and benefit from it by distributing it to the beneficiary groups through our various channels and cooperating charitable institutions.”
Al Hajri added: “The Emirates Food Bank works through several axes, within an integrated system that ensures the cooperation and participation of all stakeholders, including donors, supervisory bodies, humanitarian and voluntary associations, and coordinating bodies to ensure that the bank performs its lofty mission with the highest levels of efficiency. And the food industry in the country, including restaurants, hotels, food factories, farms, caterers, suppliers, and supermarkets, while the system also focuses on distributing meals to target groups inside and outside the country in coordination with a network of local and international humanitarian and charitable institutions.
As part of the strategic expansion with the growing positive impact of the bank, six new branches of the Emirates Food Bank were opened, including three branches in Dubai, a branch in Ajman, and another in Umm Al Quwain, in addition to a branch in Ras Al Khaimah, while the bank is studying an ambitious expansion plan in preparation for the opening Other branches covering various regions and emirates of the country. The number of refrigerators for collecting surplus food reached 144, distributed in different regions across the country, including 84 in Dubai.
And the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Food Bank indicated that food is collected through sterilized transport vehicles prepared to receive and transport food, and food shipments are often received from donating institutions to a branch of the Emirates Food Bank to be distributed within a specific work mechanism, pointing out that the bank’s activity is not limited to Not only within the country, but also outside it, as some food parcels were sent to several sister countries recently, noting that the Emirates Food Bank employees ensure that food products are guaranteed in accordance with health and safety regulations in all practical steps, including collecting, storing and distributing meals.
It is noteworthy that the Emirates Food Bank was launched on January 4, 2017, under the umbrella of “Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives”, and is committed to distributing food to the target groups of needy families and workers through cooperation and coordination with charitable institutions in the country, as well as through direct distribution of workers’ housing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, quantities of food are provided to the housing supervisors to be distributed by them hand in hand in support of the needy and distressed groups of beneficiaries.
The Dubai Municipality has provided a guide for institutions and entities concerned with the hospitality and food industry within the Emirates Food Bank system, explaining the health and food safety standards that must be followed in dealing with meals donated to the bank. A number of (127) activities were carried out between awareness and education programs and campaigns in the field of reducing food waste, benefiting from surplus food, preserving grace, and disseminating these principles and information through various social media platforms, in addition to the various workshops that were organized in many Dubai schools and government departments. and its residential areas, while the municipality cooperated with various media outlets to publicize the bank’s objectives and spread its message in a way that supports its competencies and achieves its objectives.
The Dubai Municipality also organized a number of special courses to train volunteers on the mechanisms of preserving and packaging foods according to the specific controls and conditions, and to participate in distributing meals to the needy inside and outside the country.