The first branch of the UAE Foodbank opened today in the Al Quoz area in Dubai.
At the opening, Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, the chairman of the UAE Foodbank Board of Trustees, said: “I am extremely proud to see the first branch open only three months after the announcement of the UAE Foodbank initiative in January. The site is equipped with all the necessary technical and logistical amenities to provide support and sport the launch of the foodbank’s operations.”
Sheikha Hind praised the effort put into ensuring the success of the UAE Foodbank, and into reflecting UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to introduce a sustainable humanitarian framework that encourages philanthropic participation from the community, and ensures that no one goes hungry.
She also said, “The UAE Foodbank represents one of the most humanitarian values in the UAE, and is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s largest humanitarian institutions, widely spreading the culture of giving within a sustainable institutional framework.”
Her Highness also stressed on the importance of working together to grow the UAE Foodbank and of attracting young volunteers who can collect, store and package food within the approved safety standards, therefore instilling altruism deep in their core.
She said: “The culture of volunteering and giving back to the community is important for the new generation to embrace, and the UAE Foodbank is a perfect opportunity for them to do so, and hence keep the legacy of the UAE’s founding fathers alive, ensuring that the country remain one of the most generous in the world."
Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director general of Dubai Municipality and the deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Foodbank, said: “The UAE Foodbank, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, is of particular importance as it seeks to weave humanitarianism into the social and cultural fabric of the UAE. The foodbank 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.”
“In cooperation with a network of local and international humanitarian institutions, the UAE Foodbank will be able to provide fresh and canned food, under the supervision of all concerned authorities, to many people in need both inside and outside the country,” continued Lootah. “The ultimate goal behind the UAE Foodbank is to follow Sheikh Zayed’s legacy of generosity and goodness, and to make sure that as many people and institutions as possible join our cause to provide food to those who need it the most.”
Lootah added: “This first operational foodbank represents the overall performance of our endeavor – we will closely monitor all its operations, 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.”
Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi, executive director of the Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said: “The foodbank will operate in strict accordance with a multilateral mechanism that relies on the cooperation of several partners to ensure maximum efficiency. The foodbank will gradually grow and open branches in the communities that need it the most, further supporting the UAE’s mission to expand its charitable reach across the map.” The foodbank has been operational for a brief inauguration period, where all technical and logistical elements were studied and determined for maximum efficiency.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum dedicated his 11th Accession Day in January to the UAE Food Bank, which was launched under the umbrella of the Year of Giving, and which 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.
Dubai Municipality (DM) will regulate the process of collecting, packing, storing and distributing meals, in line with the highest international standards, to guarantee food safety and freshness. It will also initiate strategic partnerships with organisations across the hospitality and food industries to create a seamless process that will maximise food usage and reduce waste. DM will 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.
In the months since its founding, the UAE Food bank has successfully forged partnerships with many institutions, including 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, workers and more. - TradeArabia News Service