- Title: EGYPT: Egyptian food bank distributes food to those in need
- Date: 25th May 2007
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOEZ AL-SHOHDI, EGYPTIAN FOOD BANK BOARD MEMBER, SAYING: "Another element that we added to our plan is awareness which included the hotel project, to try to use all the food leftovers instead of throwing them away so it can actually reach people who need it."
- Embargoed: 9th June 2007 13:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Lifestyle,Social Services / Welfare
- Reuters ID: LVA5XPYLUO2VUW55K1XFJG2RU7RJ
- Story Text: The egyptian Food Bank (EFB) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation whose main goal is to overcome hunger in Egypt by being the link between those who can afford to donate and contribute and those in need of a helping hand.
Distributing from a warehouse in Cairo to nine of Egypt's governates, including Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, the Red Sea, Sinai and Sharm El-Sheikh, the organisation supplies food to orphanages, widows, families, to people who are unable to work and to the elderly.
Volunteers make up 80 percent of its workforce, the remaining 20 percent are paid for the work they do- mainly on the packaging side of the operation.
Sponsorship from private sector companies, external donations and volunteer contributions are what keep the wheels of the EFB turning; taking a "waste not, want not" approach. The main aim of the organisation is to get food to those who really need it while at the same time, preventing food wastage.
"Another element that we added to our plan is awareness which included the hotel project, to try to use all the food leftovers instead of throwing them away so it can actually reach people who need it," said a board member of the EFB, Moez al-Shohdi.
Companies, organisations and individuals make material and monetary donations to the EFB through a number of different channels including the telephone, and for this, the organisation has a call centre in Cairo.
"At certain times or when we are advertising, the number of calls can surpass 1000 a day. On regular days, it's 500 calls a day, and our role is to take these calls and see who wants to donate and who wants to receive these donations and direct them to the source," said Ahmed Hassan, a telephone assistant at the call centre.
Donations of fresh food such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and poultry, are distributed on arrival at the EFB. Dried food on the other hand, such as rice and pasta, tea and sugar are packed by EFB members and delivered to families, orphanages and others in need, on a monthly basis.
An estimated 3.5 million meals are distributed a month by hotels and restaurants who choose to lend a helping hand by preparing dishes daily as a contribution.
It is thought that there are around 34 million people in Egypt living below the poverty line and 10 million classed as hungry.
The EFB was established in 2002 under the supervision and inspection of the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Central Accounting Agency.
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