In Saudi Arabia, extravagant buffets are the norm at wedding parties and festive occasions. In the Eastern Province a group of businessmen became concerned when they learned that millions of tons of fresh, untouched food was being thrown away annually. Hygiene standards at hotels and wedding halls meant that the food left on the buffet serving trays could not be returned to the kitchen, but there was no one to package and distribute the tasty meals to families in need.
This disturbing situation presented an opportunity. In 2010, AZAQ came together with dozens of other businesses and raised capital of SR9 million to launch the first Saudi Food Bank, "ITA'AM," which operates under the auspices of the Al-Fozan Social Foundation.
ITA'AM has trained specialist teams of food service personnel who package the buffet food into individual meal portions, always keeping hygiene and food safety at the forefront. The packaged meals are then rapidly transported to nearby charities for distribution to the needy.
AZAQ encourages those interested in volunteering or contributing to ITA'AM to visit www.saudifoodbank.com or contact the organization by phone: 013-8479696.