Giving bounty to the needy

Manama : Ramadan is the month of offering and serving food to the needy is the noblest of all humanitarian acts. Marking the holy month, local food bank society ‘Conserving Bounties’ is aiming to deliver 15,000 meals to labourers and poor families.

Speaking to Tribune, board member and founder of Conserving Bounties,  Manaf Al Ani, said, “On a monthly basis, we distribute 6,000 to 8,000 meals and during Ramadan, it goes up to 15,000 meals.”

“Ramadan is the greatest month for everybody, we cleanse ourselves but we commit a horrible sin which is wastage of food,” he said. A memorandum of understanding was signed between ‘Conserving Bounties’ and hotels such as Four Seasons, Downtown Rotana and the likes of them as well as supermarkets including Al Osra and Lulu. “The memorandum allows us to gather food from these hotels and it is distributed on the same day to the beneficiaries on our list. We can make full use of this food without throwing it away,” said Manaf Al Ani.

“The packages are provided without any brand labels to ensure the dignity of the beneficiary is preserved without belittling them,” he added. Food from large-gathering events and venues is collected, repackaged and delivered to families and labourers across Bahrain on the same day.

“Last year, we distributed 90,000 meals with approximately 100 meals per day; this year we are on our way to break that barrier by 25 per cent with over 250 meals a day on an average,” explained Manaf Al Ani.

Last Ramadan, the initiative reached out to over 200 families and 1,500 blue-collar workers, distributing over 11,903 food parcels gathered through 150 events.

“At events we always tend to eat with our eyes and not with our stomachs, this needs to change and this change takes place in schools and homes. Our main aims are the preservation of food and raising awareness,” said Manaf Al Ani.

Established in 2014, ‘Conserving Bounties’ has incorporated the best practices and procedures adopted from meticulous research and tie-ups with the Egyptian and Saudi food banks.

“A food bank isn’t a new concept it has been established across the world for years. The existence of food banks  doesn’t indicate poverty, rather it is an indication of how resourceful we are with food and we can successfully readjust it back into our society,” said Manaf Al Ani.

“This Ramadan, we encourage people to go back to their traditional Bahraini roots and send out food to their neighbour or preserve the food for the next day, it is as good as any other meal they will cook,” he added.

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