UAE Food Bank opens first location

Dubai Municipality officially opened the first location of the UAE Food Bank in Al Quoz on Wednesday morning.

Eng. Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the location is the first among many that will open across the UAE, contributing to giving surplus food to the needy.

"We hope this unique project will serve the needy throughout the world. We all know that there's a huge amount of food wasted annually although it can be used by us as residents."

Lootah added that the location will help gather the surplus food from different manufacturers and supermarkets, while meeting food safety requirements, before being distributed to various charity organizations.

"The bank will deal with two types of food: the food we get on a daily basis from restaurants and hotels, and the dry and canned food that gets disposed as the demand on it decreases as it nears its expiry date," he said.

"100 fridges will be distributed throughout residential areas during Ramadan with safety guidelines to give opportunity to residents to donate surplus food. Monitored by volunteering groups, food will be supervised and gathered in containers before giving it out to the needy," he added.

The location, which is the first of five set to launch by the end of the year, will be the connecting point between Dubai Municipality and charity associations.

Announced in January, the UAE Food Bank aims to eliminate food waste, making Dubai the first city in the Middle East to achieve zero waste through distributing surplus fresh and dry food to those in need at both the local and regional level. During its first thirty days, the UAE Food Bank signed agreements with 85 hospitality-sector entities, including hundreds of restaurants and over 100 supermarkets.

The bank's locations will help in distributing daily products, and a main container will store long-shelf products.