Expo 2020: Food surplus to be given to local charities

Food surplus from Expo 2020’s restaurants, food halls and workforce catering will be repurposed and distributed to local charities with the logistical support of the UAE Food Bank throughout the duration of the event, Expo authorities said on Saturday.

Marking World Food Day on October 16, Expo 2020 Dubai announced the launch of its Food Rescue Programme in partnership with Cisco, Expo 2020’s Digital Network Partner.

Expo 2020 has joined forces with the UAE Food Bank, a non-profit charitable organisation launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, to operate the programme, which is supported by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

“The first of its kind in the UAE, the Expo 2020 Dubai Food Rescue Programme utilises ‘Replate’, a Cisco grantee, and state-of-the-art technology, to automate the food rescue process and connect donors to charities and communities in need, while tracking the environmental impact of all donations,” said a Press release from the Expo.

Replate also alerts the UAE Food Bank about pick-ups at the Expo site, and enables the drivers to effective distribute food to those in need.

“All surplus food delivered from Expo 2020’s premises will be in accordance with the Dubai Municipality’s Food Code and guidelines,” the release added.

Dina Storey, the director of sustainability operations at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As Expo 2020 marks World Food Day, we turn our attention to the critical issue of food waste. Nearly one-third of all food produced globally is never eaten, with the majority ending up in landfills and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions – all while hundreds of millions of people across the world continue to go hungry.”

“As a global platform that aims to create a better future for both people and planet, Expo 2020 is committed to contributing to food security and sustainability efforts. We are grateful to the organisations that have offered their vital support to this programme, and have invited Expo 2020’s vast food-and-beverage network to be part of this high-impact success story for Expo 2020, Dubai and the UAE,” she added.

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Shukri Eid, managing director, Cisco Gulf Region, said: “Reducing food waste and combating hunger are inextricably linked and must be our shared priority. As a global leader in technology, we are using our voice and the platform of Expo 2020 Dubai to lead by example, showcasing the power of digital solutions and co-creation to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.”

On World Food Day 2021, Expo 2020 will highlight the need for global solidarity in rethinking and reshaping food security and agri-food systems to ensure healthy lives and sustain people and the planet.

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