The Egyptian Food Bank: Nourishing the Needy
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
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
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
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
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.