The first branch of the UAE food bank opened in Dubai’s Al Quoz area on Wednesday, following the launch of the initiative in January.
The initiative was launched by UAE Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as part of the UAE’s Year of Giving initiative in 2017.
A non-profit charitable organisation, the UAE Food Bank will distribute food to those in need while eliminating food waste.
Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, chairman of the UAE Food Bank said: “The site is equipped with all the necessary technical and logistical amenities to provide support and support the launch of the food bank’s operations.”
Dubai Municipality will regulate the process of collecting, packing, storing and distributing meals, to guarantee food safety and freshness.
It will also initiate partnerships with organisations across the hospitality and food industries to create a process that will maximise food usage and reduce waste.
The Municipality will also create operational guidelines, which will clarify the roles of all entities including supervisors who will ensure that regulations are adhered to, stakeholders who will donate the food, and the charitable organisations, which will manage distribution.
So far, the UAE Food bank has partnered with 96 hotels, 240 food shops and seven charitable organisastions in the country that will aid in distributing meal packages to those in need, including families and workers.
The food bank will provide supplies to people both inside and outside the country.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director general of Dubai Municipality and the deputy chairman of the Food Bank said: “The food bank will give many people and institutions the opportunity to volunteer and actively participate in the process of giving food at all stages – from collecting, to storing, to packaging and then distributing the food to those in need.”
The first branch of the food bank has been operational for a brief inauguration period, where all technical and logistical elements were studied and determined for maximum efficiency.
Lootah added: “We will closely monitor all its operations [of the first food bank], making amendments where necessary, and providing a benchmark for the many other branches that we hope to see opened across the UAE and surrounding countries.”
The overall initiative aims to optimise food usage and reduce food waste in the UAE, with the aim of helping Dubai become the first city in the region to achieve zero food waste.