Free car to collect surplus food for donation during Ramadan in UAE
UAE Food Bank collected 2,160 tons of food since last year.
During Ramadan, residents will be able to donate their surplus food from within the comfort of their homes by ordering a car for free to pick up donations and to be given to the needy.
As part of an initiative between UAE Food Bank and ride-hailing app Careem, residents can order a "Food Bank" delivery car type for free.
Once booked, a delivery captain will arrive on the weekend at the user's location, pick up the extra food or grocery items and deliver it to the 80 food bank community fridges distributed in residential areas and mosques.
The fridges are available for the public to donate packaged and canned food like bread, yogurt, water, laban, fruits and vegetables under safety measures supervised by Dubai Municipality.
"If you cook surplus food during Ramadan, don't forget to donate an extra meal or two. Or when buying groceries, you can buy extra canned fruits or vegetables that can be donated to any of the 80 fridges placed all over the UAE in public places, by the Dubai Municipality," said Clemence Dutertre, General Manager in Careem, UAE.
The initiative follows UAE Food Bank's aim to reduce food waste while fighting hunger through collecting surplus food from the public, food establishments and hypermarkets, and distributing it to those in need.
The "Food Bank" car type will be available throughout Ramadan, with users being able to donate every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
During the month, the food bank has partnered with different establishments and companies like Zabeel Palace that will provide 1500 snacks daily and 500 meals daily to RTA bus drivers, and 700 meals per day for workers in the labour accommodations.
In a joint initiative with the Community Development Authority (CDA), Suhoor meals will be distributed to workers after Taraweeh prayers throughout the holy month with the participation of nearly 700 volunteers of all categories and ages.
The bank will also coordinate with various government agencies to volunteer for the initiative, and will provide 500 meals on a daily basis to workers in approved and designated locations in coordination with CDA.
Since last year, the food bank's two locations in Al Quoz and behind Al Khazzan Park collected 2,160 tonnes of food, in collaboration with 35 food establishments, 13 charities and three sponsors.
The food bank also distributed 80 fridges in Dubai mosques, malls, residential areas and labor camps, with 10 fridges each in Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah.
Another group of establishments and companies will contribute to providing meals to the UAE Food Bank, namely Sadia, Al Islami, West Zone Supermarket, Lulu Hypermarket, Farzana vegetable traders, Barakat Catering, Lulu Catering, Caesar's Catering, Al Marai and Aliya Trading. Awareness and education programs for various groups of the society will be organized to raise awareness on the importance of reducing food waste.
Other emiratesDawood Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the 2018 Plan will focus on coordination with the other emirates to establish UAE Food Bank collection sites.
The first site in Ras Al Khaimah will be inaugurated during the holy month of Ramadan under the supervision of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality.
The pilot operation was started in Ajman in coordination with Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Charity Foundation and under the supervision of Ajman Municipality.
He added that the focus will be on a range of projects that serve the Bank's objectives, and it is important that initiatives outside the country be developed and assistance be provided to the affected countries, in addition to the need to coordinate with the Ministry of Food Security so that the Bank contributes to the Ministry's strategy for food security.
"The Bank aspires to develop its network to include more companies as well as to build regional and international partnerships. The Bank's branches and centers outside the country will provide food surpluses in accordance with the special conditions set by the bank to reflect the image of the UAE," he said.