Dubai Municipality launched the first branch of UAE Food Bank in Al Quoz area on April 19, three months after the initiative was announced. Speaking at the event, Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, said that 30 such Food Banks will be set up across the UAE by end of the year, five of which will be in Dubai. The Al Quoz-based facility is equipped wih two refrigerated containers to store dry, packaged and canned foods donated by food establishments, including 96 hotels and 240 hypermarkets and supermarkets. Some of the major retail chains which will be donating excess food to the bank are Spinney’s and Waitrose, Choithrams and LuLu. Some of the hotels which will be donating their extra food to the initiative are the Starwood chain, JW Mariott Marquis, Atlantis and InterContinental. The initiative has also tied up with several charities. They will distribute the collected food to the needy in and outside the country. On the occasion, Mohammad Abdullah Alhaj Al Zaroni, manager of Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, said that UAE stands fourth in the world in terms of food wastage generated. The value of this food waste is a whopping Dh4 billion, he said. ‘Every person wastes 196kg of food every year,” he added, quoting international data.