100 Million Meals drive passes over 57m mark in 5 days

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The tally counter on 100millionmeals.ae has been moving non-stop as donations kept pouring in since the campaign’s launch on April 11.

With the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign now past its halfway mark — reaching over 57 million meals in just five days — boxes of love have started arriving in Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan.

Refugees, orphans, widows and families happily received their boxes filled with flour, rice, lentils, sugar, oil, dates and tea, all the essentials they need to prepare hearty meals throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

The tally counter on its website 100millionmeals.ae has been moving nonstop as massive donations kept pouring in since the campaign’s launch on April 11. Every Dh1 donated meant one meal for the less fortunate.

The campaign — that is open to the public within and outside the UAE — is inviting one and all to contribute that will distribute 100 million meals in 20 countries, including Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Angola, Uganda and Egypt. The drive is an expansion of last year’s locally held ’10 Million Meals’ campaign that helped Covid-hit communities across the UAE.

Its organiser, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), is collaborating with international and local partners in each of the beneficiary countries to ensure the swift delivery of food parcels.

Three villages and neighbourhoods in Pakistan’s Islamabad have started receiving their care packages, with the efforts of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), in collaboration with the UAE embassy.

With some of the fund raised from the drive, the UN World Food Programme will distribute cash vouchers sufficient to provide 20.8 million meals in refugee camps in Jordan over the next six weeks.

The Food Banking Regional Network has been working with food banks and organisations in Jordan and Egypt to deliver food parcels to the target communities. In Egypt, the packages distributed to families are enough for 240 to 300 meals.

Lauding the drive, Abdulla Al Nuaimi, founder and CEO of YallaGive, which had previously powered the 10 Million Meals drive and is also helping out in the current campaign.

“Last year, we were managing the 10 Million Meals online donations and we saw how our platform helped double the impact as we made it easier for people to donate online. This year, too, this was a much-needed initiative as Covid-19 has impacted lives across the region and I am glad to announce that we are part of this drive as well and will be facilitating the online donations and online fundraising by the community. Join the giving movement and fundraise for the 100 Million Meals via http://yallagive.com today,” Al Nuaimi said.

Online food app Nefsy, which donated 85,000 meals in last year’s campaign, also pledged 50,000 meals for the drive, according to its founder Khaled Diab.

“(Our pledge comes) along with some other Ramadan drives that we are running to offer food boxes and clothes to the needy in the region. The UAE has played an exemplary role in giving back to the community and this initiative is truly noble, as it is not limited to the Emirates but also surrounding countries in turmoil. And our mission at Nefsy is aligned with that of the country, which is to help combat hunger worldwide,” Diab said.

Another contributor, Zoya Khan, co-founder and CSR head of Think Upcycle, said: “With or without Covid, the UAE has done some remarkable initiatives for people in need and, in all cases, food is the starting point. The country’s 10 Million Meals drive last year gave many companies a platform to use their CSR funds and be part of a bigger goal. Think Upcycle touched hundreds of homes through this, a small drop in the ocean but every little drop counts. We will be contributing towards this great initiative this year as well.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com






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