Reduce waste to end hunger by using business models. This is the purpose of the project "Save Wasted Food to Have Zero Hunger" of the Egyptian Food Bank. Dr. Moez El Shohdi, Co-Founder and CEO of the bank, presented it during the conference organized by the Institute of International Affairs, held on Saturday 20th June in the Civil Society Pavilion as part of the EXPO Milan.
“We are a group of businessmen, realize that there is a problem of food insecurity not only in Egypt but also in the whole Region. So we decided to create the Egyptian Food Bank, a model focused on ending hunger”, tells Dr. El Shohdi.
The Egyptian Food Bank works like any professional business company, but with a clear vision of ending hunger by the year 2020, to achieve this objective we had to set the following pillars:
- Feed the needy unable to work (240 thousand families a month).
- Educate, develop and qualify the needy people able to work (170 thousand household every year).
- Work on food waste reduction (more than 16.6 million meal/month).
- Organize charitable work.
- Investments to insure sustainability and create job opportunities, by open factories, breeding farms, and many others. for instance school canteens.
Dr. El Shohdi is also President of Style Hotels International’s Middle East and Africa Division. Hotels play a key role in the Egyptian Food Bank’s vision: the reduction of food waste in hotels through a well organized plan allowed to save 16,6 million of meals in 2014, according to data from the Egyptian Food Bank.
“Our mission is to engage all people, private sector, public sector, individuals. All people believe that none should feel hungry at any time. (…) I believe that civil society, complementing the role of governments, together with the private sector are the 3 main pillars of developing any country or community”.
During the conference, Linking food security to sustainable agricultural policies in the Mediterranean, a publication by Istituto Affari Internazionali and OCP policy Center of Rabat has been presented. The topic of the three sessions was food security in the Mediterranean, with a special focus on the MENA region. Many Italian and international experts participated, explaining the key determinants of food insecurity in the region, policies adopted by countries and the EU, case studies, and projects.