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In a bid to fight hunger & waste Sheikh Mohammed launches UAE Food Bank

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Yes, 2017 is the Year of Giving in the UAE, and Sheikh Mohammed has kicked things off himself…

We’ve all been at a brunch or a Dubai buffet and felt guilty about the mounds of food likely to go to waste. But have you ever done something about it? Well, the Dubai government is set to take action, and you can help.

Today H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, is launching the UAE Food Bank, which will distribute otherwise wasted food to those in need at both a local and regional level.

The non-profit organisation will partner “with hotels and restaurants, food-manufacturing companies and supermarkets and introduce a process of preserving, storing and packaging the food, with the goal to optimize usage and achieve zero waste,” according to the Media Office.

“Volunteers will be invited to collect surplus food from the appointed authorities, and distribute it to those in need, in and outside the UAE,” the office explains.

So basically the Food Bank will come and get the food, store it so it stays fresh, and then distribute it.

It is estimated that the UAE currently sees Dhs13 billion in food waste a year, so harnessing that loss for good is nothing but a smart idea.

The ultimate aim of the Food Bank is to make Dubai the first city in the region to achieve zero food waste – a lofty goal, yes, but we all know the emirate likes to aim high.

“The Year of Giving provides a golden opportunity for UAE citizens and institutions to maximise their philanthropic potential by launching humanitarian initiatives. We chose ‘food’ as our first initiative as it is one of the most basic human needs,” Sheikh Mohammed explained. “Through the UAE Food Bank, we aim to instill the value of giving deep in the hearts of our people.”

“We are also inspired by the boundless generosity of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” he explained, “especially during the month of Ramadan, when he provides meals to millions of underprivileged people daily. The UAE Food Bank seeks to immortalise these values in future generations by engaging community-based volunteers and organisations so that the spirit of philanthropy spreads beyond the borders of the UAE as the Year of Giving unfolds.”