Thousands of needy residents are feasting on quality leftover food from posh hotels, supermarkets and homes, thanks to a joint initiative by a Dubai-based charity and Dubai Municipality.
NGO Ro’yati Family Society in Dubai, which has taken upon itself to collect and distribute leftover food under the Dubai Municipality’s supervision, said in 2012 it fed over 70,000 needy residents with leftover food collected from less than a dozen sources.
From succulent kebabs, uzis and biryanis (Arabic meat and rice dishes) to mouth-watering kunafas (cheese pastry) and umm ali (bread pudding), workers and families get to party on a sumptuous spread of ready-to-eat foods that is otherwise often beyond their reach.
According to Lina Kilani, project manager at Ro’yati Family Society, the society distributes leftovers among 500 needy families, besides workers in labour camps.
“These families, which have around eight to 10 members each, have become so used to our supplies that they call to enquire if they don’t see us for a couple of weekends.”
“Supermarkets and residents who have parties at homes also call us. We have a dedicated team of five paid staff who with the help of volunteers collect, transport and distribute the leftovers.”
She said weekends are peak time as most parties, events and functions are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ramadan iftars also generate large quantities of leftovers.
Kilani said as a general rule, seafood, salad, ice-cream and creamy desserts are not passed on. “We don’t touch these foods as they may not be fit to eat by the time they reach the families. Even with fruit, we stick to whole fruit and dried varieties. Leftovers that can be safely given include meat, rice, bread and dry desserts.”
Lina Kilani, who teaches Islamic economy at Zayed University, said: “I am concerned about consumption. Some people don’t care about what and how much they buy, eat or throw away. We need to create greater awareness and minimise waste.”
From: Gulf News