’10 Million Meals’ Campaign Ends With 15 Million Meals

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
’10 Million Meals’ Campaign Ends With 15 Million Meals

The ’10 million meals’ campaign concluded after drawing overwhelming donations that secured over 15 million meals for Covid-19-hit communities in the UAE in less than a month. The campaign presented a practical humanitarian response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The UAE’s biggest food distribution drive opened new horizons of humanitarian work in the UAE society by bringing everyone together to support the vulnerable against the global pandemic.

The campaign drew donations from 110,000 individuals and companies of 115 nationalities to provide over 15 million meals and food parcels to people in need. With the help of over 1,000 volunteers, 6.5 million meals have so far been distributed across the country.

Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum said, “The ’10 million meals’ campaign reflects the UAE’s commitment to providing necessary resources that ensure a decent life for all at times of crisis. The global pandemic has affected everyone across the world. In the UAE, we are keen to overcome this crisis together, without leaving anyone in need.”

Further, she praised the massive response of individuals and companies towards the campaign that exceeded its target within only the first week of its launch, drawing even more donations throughout. This, she said indicated the powerful solidarity of the UAE society.

The contributions of citizens and residents from over 115 nationalities capture the core fabric of the UAE’s diverse society that is based on tolerance and coexistence.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had announced the launch of the 10 million meals campaign earlier in April to provide food support for communities hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic that left many facing unemployment and income reduction.

The campaign enabled individuals, companies, government entities and humanitarian organizations to make financial and in-kind donations towards providing meals and food parcels to low-income individuals and families throughout the month of Ramadan.

Online donations secured 1.4 million meals, while SMS donations helped provide 771,535 meals. In-kind donations made through the campaign’s call center amounted to 726,392 meals.

While companies and prominent entrepreneurs pledged 5.7 million meals, collective donations of humanitarian and charity organizations helped secure 6.8 million meals. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment took the lead by donating AED 20million at the beginning of Ramadan, later followed by an additional AED 9 million to collectively secure 3.62 million meals with the total AED 29 million donation.

What Else?

In addition, the UAE also launched the World’s Tallest Donation Box in collaboration with Burj Khalifa. The unique initiative enabled people to buy Burj Khalifa lights with as a little as Dh10 each to help provide meals for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Every light purchased for Dh10 on www.tallestdonationbox.com provided a meal for someone in need. The donations lit one pixel at a time, illuminating Burj Khalifa’s 1.2 million lights in less than a week in a message of hope and solidarity to the world amid the global pandemic. The initiative alone secured 1.2 million meals for the ’10 million meals’ campaign.

The World’s Tallest Donation Box went viral on social media with thousands of users encouraging each other to donate. The initiative also attracted widespread local and international media coverage with over 150 TV and print reports.

In-kind contributions to the 10 million meals campaign transcended the average food supplies and items, attracting tonnes of fruits like bananas, apples and dates, millions of water bottles, ice cream, juice packs, and frozen chicken. Fast food chains also provided meal vouchers. The unique donations helped provide nutritious meals and enriched the diversity of food provided.

Over 1,000 volunteers, aged between 18 and 53, have so far participated in the 10 million meals campaign, taking up different tasks from responding to calls, distributing meals on field and following up with beneficiaries. The volunteers joined through the five platforms of Dubai Municipality, ‘Your City Needs You’ initiative, volunteers.ae, Community Development Authority (CDA) and Hope Makers Development Programme.