The UAE Food Bank announced the launch of the 1 Million Meals Saved Meals Campaign, which aims to offer food support to those in need, joining the efforts of the 1 Billion Meals campaign, the largest in the region to provide food support to the disadvantaged and vulnerable in 50 countries.

Contributing to the Global Battle Against Hunger

H.H. Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, said, “Since its establishment, the UAE Food Bank aided more than 37 billion beneficiary locally and globally, and we aim to continue expanding its operations.”

She added, “The UAE Food Bank is only one of many humanitarian initiatives by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and its role is to highlight the value and blessings of food.”

Her Highness highlighted, “Food surplus is enough to feed many, and this Ramadan’s campaign is part of the 1 Billion Meals initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.”

Collaboration and Joint Efforts

The 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign aims to provide one million meals comprised of unused food during the Holy Month of Ramadan, at a rate of 33,000 meals per day, in cooperation with approximately 200 strategic partners from hotels, food establishments, supermarkets, vegetable and fruit markets, central kitchens and charities in the country.

The 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign will collaborate with more than 55 hotels, 65 food institutions, 35 mega retailers and fruits and vegetables markets, 13 charity foundations, and 10 central kitchens. In addition, 150 volunteers are directly supporting the campaign’s operations.

The campaign also provides an innovative solution to convert food waste that is not fit for consumption, after sorting it, into organic fertiliser and biofuel from excess cooking oil, in cooperation with the start-up company Reloop, which specialises in circular economy applications, recycling and converting waste food into organic fertiliser to achieve the ‘zero waste’ goal.

New Momentum and 33,000 Meals a Day

Dawood Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank and Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said, “By joining the 1 Billion Meals initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign, organised by the UAE Food Bank, provides new momentum to the initiative as directed by H.H. Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum to provide more than 33,000 meals per day during the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

He added, “We are cooperating with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to achieve the humanitarian goals of the 1 Billion Meals initiative by providing food support to the needy and the vulnerable. We are also organising, under the 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign, four sub-initiatives that aim to contribute to achieving food security.”

Purposeful Sub-Initiatives

The 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign includes four sub-initiatives: the goodness Kitchen Initiative, the Hotel Ramadan Buffet Initiative, the Ramadan Basket of Fruits and Vegetables, and the Ramadan Meer Initiative.

The Goodness Kitchen initiative focuses on using the food waste at cooperatives, supermarkets and retail stores. It also cooperates with a number of central kitchens.

The business model of this sub-initiative is based on assembling the components required to prepare specific meals after they are packed and delivered by the initiative’s partners to the UAE Food Bank’s warehouse, which in turn sends them to the central kitchen, where the meals are prepared and then distributed to needy families and workers.

The Hotel Ramadan Buffet initiative collects food surplus that is fit for consumption and available at hotel iftar buffets, and packs it into meals that are delivered to beneficiaries with limited incomes and labor housing in cooperation with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department. This initiative also provides a qualitative and innovative solution to non-consumable food waste after being processed by recycling company Reloop into organic fertiliser used in green spaces and agriculture.

According to Reloop’s statistics, the leftovers from one million meals can cover 1.25 million square feet of agricultural land with organic fertiliser, spare landfills the equivalent of 625,000 kilogrammes of waste, and provide 160,000 liters of biofuel.

The Ramadan Meer initiative collects basic foodstuffs from cooperative societies, supermarkets and retail stores and delivers them to the Emirates Food Bank’s warehouses. There, they are packed into containing the elements required to prepare a nutritious meal and then distributed to beneficiaries across the UAE.

The Ramadan Basket of Fruits and Vegetables focuses on preparing baskets that include vegetables and fruits in cooperation with the partners of the 1 Million Saved Meals Campaign, which are then distributed to underprivileged individuals and families.

Food Waste Around the World

Global figures and statistics indicate that annually 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted with a total value of US$1 trillion. The disposal of food waste costs about US$410 billion annually, while the indirect repercussions of this crisis are the depletion of more water resources and agricultural land and labor, in addition to polluting the climate with emissions. A quarter of the food wasted annually can feed more than 870 million people.

Donation Channels

Donors can contribute to the 1 Billion Meals campaign through the following donation channels – the campaign’s official website: www.1billionmeals.ae; bank transfer to the campaign’s account at Emirates NBD, number: AE300260001015333439802.

Donors can also opt to donate AED1 a day through a monthly subscription by sending “Meal” via SMS to 1020 on the du network or 1110 on the Etisalat network. Donations can also be made through campaign’s call center via a toll-free number 8009999.

The 1 Billion Meals Initiative The 1 Billion Meals initiative is organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which includes dozens of initiatives and institutions that implement charitable and humanitarian work programs around the world in a way that supports institutional humanitarian work, achieves its sustainability, expands its positive impact, and establishes a culture of hope in the region and the world and contributes to achieving the desired development for a better future.