Join us in supporting low-income communities while addressing food waste
In a world where millions of people still suffer from acute or ongoing food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition, and undernourishment in various forms, seeing the stark contrast to food being lost before consumption or wasted at the consumer level is appalling.
- The number of people affected by hunger globally rose to 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (FAO).
- Projections are that 8% of the world population – nearly 670 million people – will still be facing hunger in 2030 (UN).
- The environmental and financial costs of food loss and waste (FLW) are estimated at around $1 trillion annually in the global economy (FAO).
- Wasted food accounts for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions because rotting food can create methane – a greenhouse gas that is considered to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (WWF).
- In the UAE alone, one person wastes on average 225kg of food per year, ranking them among the top nations for per capita food waste in the world (MOCCAE).
- During the Holy Month of Ramadan, food waste in the UAE increases to a staggering 60% from its standard 38% across the year (Dubai Carbon).
The economic, social, and environmental repercussions associated with food waste are severe. On the bright side, both hunger and food waste are problems with a solution: The Meal Packing Initiative launched under the umbrella of Goumbook’s Eat it or Save itcampaign tackles the dual problem of food waste and hunger in a holistic way by providing low income communities with healthy, nutritious food rescued from landfills while aiming for low to zero waste creation from the packaging activity.
To realize these ambitious goals, the activity is run in partnership with the UAE Food Bank serving low-income communities across the UAE. Goumbook also partnered with food charities and food delivery providers that focus on minimising the impact of food waste by giving it another life, in addition to a recycling partner to tend to waste generated from meal packing activities.
In an effort to foster sustainable food systems, our meal packs are mainly composed of surplus foods that have been diverted from landfill because they were unsold in the market or have near expiration dates. The distributed bags contain a balanced selection of a warm main meal, fresh seasonal produce, paratha bread, yoghurt, and water – amounting to a total of approximately 2,500 kcal to cover the recommended daily intake for a person performing physical work. Beneficiaries include blue collar workers in labour camps and accommodations in addition to some families in need.
Supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this initiative is a true showcase of social and environmental responsibility being taken seriously by sustainability-minded businesses and put into action leveraging partnerships. In particular, this initiative helps address and progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production (specifically target 12.3 on halving food waste by 2030) and SDG 2 – Zero Hunger. These SDGs are interlinked with others such as SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities, SDG 13 – Climate Action, SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals. Progress on one means progress on all.
If you are looking for a meaningful team building opportunity that promotes your company values while doing good for underprivileged communities this Ramadan or beyond, contact us for options to participate in our sustainable meal packing initiative!