The Dubai Municipality (DM) will deploy Food Bank fridges in supermarkets, malls and near labour camps before Ramadan, to allow the community to donate their surplus food to help those in need, Khaleej Times has learned. As part of the UAE Food Bank initiative launched last year to collect and distribute surplus food to those in need and fight food waste, the civic body's Food Safety Department will relocate some of its mosque fridges to more accessible places near supermarkets and labour accommodations. The municipality had placed 80 fridges at mosques last year to help the community engage in the food bank initiative and donate their surplus foods. However, some of these fridges which were utilised minimally will be moved to more accessible places.
This year, fridges will be kept near supermarkets, smaller malls and other places, making it accessible for the common man. The fridges will allow supermarkets and nearby hotels and restaurants approved by DM to fill up the fridges with surplus food. It will also let the public do their bit by donating their excess food. Sajiv Raghavan, food health inspection officer, said that the fridges will be available before Ramadan, enabling the public to donate packaged and canned food like bread, yoghurt, water, laban, fruits and vegetables. owever, the number of fridges to be added at the public facilities are still not determined, as the civic is still in talks with hypermarkets.
For the food bank initiative, the municipality has already partnered with over 36 hotels, hypermarkets and charity associations including Lulu Hypermarkets, Choithram and Spinneys, who are providing the bank with daily donations. In the future, the municipality will also partner with nearby hotels and restaurants so they can place excess food in fridges following the food safety precautions set by the food safety department. Raghavan added that the fridges will be supervised by Dubai Municipality food inspectors. "Apart from the regular visits by the food inspectors, we request supermarkets to provide a trained volunteer who would check the hygiene trash the leftover food (if any) at the end or starting of the day and disinfect the fridge at equal intervals," said Raghavan.