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The Egyptian Food Bank: Nourishing the Needy

The Egyptian Food Bank: Nourishing the Needy
    written by
    Melissa Howell

    Ramadan is well under way and for those enduring the daylong hours of
    fasting, it’s comforting to have a fetar feast to look forward to. However, the harsh reality is that for many
    in our country, there is no reprieve to the hunger. An estimated 35% of Egyptians live below the poverty line and earn less than US$1 a day, according to the latest statistics by the Al Ahram Centre for Politcal and Strategic Studies. Although we come across the needy every day in
    Cairo, this staggering statistic and the faces behind it are all too easily
    forgotten. Sure, there are many
    initiatives all over Cairo
    to feed the poor and hungry during Ramadan, but what about the rest of the
    year? Thanks to the work of the Egyptian
    Food Bank, Egypt’s
    impoverished and malnourished may have a brighter future.

    In 1994, a group of corporate leaders joined forces to launch the
    Egyptian Food Bank as a means to connect excess food supplies with the poor and
    hungry of Egypt.
    The private sector charity gathers and delivers food to the less fortunate with
    the goal to end hunger in Egypt. Over
    the years, this benevolent organization has gained support from the local community
    and is strengthened by the contributions of individuals and corporations
    alike.  

    The bank’s main base in the Cairo suburb of Mokattam collects canned,
    dried and frozen foods. Volunteers work
    to compile the donations and create individual meals to be delivered to the
    program’s recipients. Frozen and raw
    meals are distributed seven days a week in this unrelenting effort to end
    hunger.  

    The Egyptian Food Bank survives on donations to fund its operations from
    food and packaging to the transportation of the meals. A number of corporations
    have participated in helping or donating to the organisation, including some of
    the biggest hotel chains in Egypt. Hotels that host weddings and large events
    are guilty of massive food waste. The
    Egyptian Food Bank has proposed a way to curb the waste while giving back to
    the community. Leftover food that is
    deemed suitable is safely packaged by trained staff and delivered hot to the
    program’s beneficiaries.  

    The Egyptian Food Bank maintains that the families assisted by the
    bank’s program are receiving consistent care. Food is distributed on a continual monthly basis in the specified amount
    needed for each household. The bank
    determines its recipients by their inability to provide themselves with
    nourishment due to extreme poverty.  
    Families are also provided with nutrition information and education to
    help them become self-sufficient in the future.

    The founders of the Egyptian Food Bank certainly have a long way to go
    in their fight against hunger in Egypt, though they are making significant
    strides. The bank now has five branches
    throughout Egypt
    and recent reports claim that an impressive 60 million meals– each including
    proteins and carbohydrates– are provided every month by the organisation.

    If you’ve been searching for a way to give back to the community this
    Ramadan, the Egyptian Food Bank has many ways to contribute. Of course, they
    are not limited to distributing food during the holy month; so if you wish to
    help at any time of the year, donations go a long way towards ending hunger
    here in Egypt .  

    Check out their website at www.egyptianfoodbank.com, where you
    can make credit card donations and learn about more ways to contribute. Or visit Misr Bank, Arab African
    International Bank, National Societe General Bank, Commercial International
    Bank, National Bank of Egypt, or the Faisal Islamic Bank to make cash donations
    to the Egyptian Food Bank account.  

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