4,000 boxes of fresh home-grown produce to be distributed to local families
The Arada Foundation has announced the launch of a Ramadan initiative that will see 4,000 boxes of healthy, fresh produce picked straight from Emirati farms distributed to local families in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). The programme is being managed by Manbat, the farmer’s market based at the Aljada megaproject in Sharjah.
The initiative, which will be spread over a 20-day period during the Holy Month, begins on Ramadan 6 (18 April). The produce will be selected from farms around the UAE that have been inspected by MOCCAE in order to ensure full health and safety compliance.
Volunteers, including members of Arada’s staff, will visit the farms in order to help pick fruit and vegetables to be packed, amounting to 200 boxes of produce every day. Once packed, the boxes will be collected by refrigerated vehicles managed by Sharjah Cooperative Society and delivered to Sharjah Charity International, which will then distribute them to local families in the UAE.
The Ramadan campaign is in line with MOCCAE’s goals to promote food security, stabilise food supply chains and reduce the UAE’s dependence on exports.
His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “The initiative is a prime example of a public-private partnership for the benefit of the community, and the fact that it takes place during Ramadan, the month of giving, adds a special importance. MOCCAE is always ready to support businesses that are keen to give back to society. We commend the efforts of Arada and its stakeholders to ensure the success of the initiative – a true reflection of the values promoted by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the foundation for charitable work in our country.”
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said: “This Ramadan initiative serves several important goals, including supporting different parts of the local community and helping to promote the quality and nutritional value of the food that is being produced right here in the UAE. We are proud to see our partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment continue to flourish, and we will continue to work with them to develop further initiatives to support their goals in the near future.”
Included inside each Manbat box will be a wide range of the best of Emirati produce, with 16 ingredients in total. These include fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey and dates, and each box will also contain a Manbat apron and oven glove.
The Ramadan campaign marks the first official programme of the Arada Foundation, a new entity that has just been set up by the Sharjah-based developer to consolidate and structure its previous corporate social responsibility activities. The Arada Foundation will serve communities in need both within the UAE and abroad, using internal funds, and further details about its activities will be announced later in 2021.
During the Holy Month, the Manbat farmer’s market will take place at night, with timings between 9pm to 1am every Friday and Saturday evening at Aljada.