Dubai: The UAE Food Bank, operating under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative, has launched its 2023-2027 strategic plan.
The strategy aims to promote the philanthropic and environmental values that underpin the bank’s activities and to improve the sustainability of its operations through long-term future planning.
The new plan is part of the implementation of the directives of Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His wife is also the Supreme Chairman of the UAE Food Bank in the Emirate of Dubai. The strategy also aligns with the UAE’s aim to enhance its global leadership in sustainable development and food security, as well as the country’s broader strategy to manage food surplus.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Vice-Chairman of the UAE Food Bank Board of Directors, said: “The strategic plan reflects the Food Bank’s vision to be ‘a sustainable world-leading food bank’ and its mission to optimally plan for managing food surpluses in line with global sustainability Best Practices.”
He added: “The strategy was inspired by [Sheikh Mohammed], he believes that humanitarian food donation is the embodiment of the highest value of human beings, and also the embodiment of the spirit of charitable donation in the UAE society.The new strategy also forms part of the implementation directive [Sheikha Hind] Develop plans to increase the capacity of food banks to ensure sustainable food delivery to people in need around the world. “
The Vice-Chair continued: “The program will enable food banks to develop an integrated institutional framework to deliver food surplus to beneficiaries locally and globally in a sustainable manner while ensuring high quality and operational efficiency. In addition to strengthening and streamlining operations In addition, the strategy seeks to promote the values of humanitarianism, sustainability and social responsibility within the corporate world and the wider community.”
As part of its drive to promote sustainable development, the Food Bank seeks to maintain global best practice in the sector by supporting local farmers and expanding strategic partnerships with food businesses, companies and hotels to donate surplus food and reduce waste.
The plan also aims to advance the digital transformation of the food bank’s operations to ensure easy access to as many beneficiaries and donors as possible. It also seeks to promote a circular economy and environmental sustainability by diverting leftover food from landfill roads and reducing food waste by 30% by 2027.
The new strategy covers human, social, environmental and economic dimensions, with a strong focus on fostering social responsibility and volunteerism, and raising awareness among community members on what to do with leftover food. As part of the strategy, the World Bank will conduct advocacy programs in schools, government and private entities about optimizing the use of food surplus, reducing waste and protecting the environment.
Since 2017, the UAE Food Bank has distributed more than 55 million meals to beneficiaries, which is equivalent to saving 55,000 tons of food that would otherwise be thrown away as waste. The Bank has established more than 200 strategic partnerships with food companies, hotels, restaurants, hypermarkets, central kitchens and charitable organizations.
From its inception to the end of last year, it organized more than 290 events, including events, workshops and awareness programs aimed at promoting the value of philanthropy and raising awareness among youth, strategic partners, volunteers and children about the importance of managing surplus food. The bank has also opened several branches in the country over the past year.
UAE Food Bank has also signed five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with regional food banks to exchange expertise, information and experience, and strengthen efforts in preserving surplus food, reducing waste, maintaining high health and food safety standards in surplus food, training volunteers A program of cooperatives among those involved in the storage and preservation of surplus food and its delivery to families in need.
Ramadan 2023 Initiative
During this year’s Ramadan, UAE Food Bank’s initiative distributed more than 5.1 million meals to nearly half a million families and more than 2.6 million workers in the UAE and around the world. More than 720 volunteers contributed to the implementation of these initiatives.
The bank is also involved in the ‘Bridges of Kindness’ initiative launched by the UAE to provide relief to those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey. It also delivered 292.7 tonnes of food to the Emirates Red Crescent as part of a campaign to support people affected by the crises in Syria and Turkey.
The UAE Food Bank has also been able to divert more than 908,000 kilograms of food from landfill through its campaigns and partnerships with the private sector by donating edible food and recycling food unfit for human consumption. By recycling 367,409 kg of food waste, 73 tons of fertilizers were produced, reducing carbon emissions by 2,306,687 kg, equivalent to planting 96,112 trees.