Weekender Bahrain, Sunday, August 25 2019

Ramadan with a conscience

admin 21-May-2019

Ramadan with a conscience

A month heightened with the intention to cleanse ourselves and realize our responsibilities as individuals towards food consumption, it is highly ironic how Bahrain produces nearly 400 tons of uneaten food every month that is discarded. This significant amount sky rockets to a whopping 600 tons in the holy month of Ramadan. Millions of people around the world are observing Ramadan right now. This means they don’t eat or drink during sunlit hours. The basic idea behind the practice is to enable people to understand what it’s like to go without food or water, and feel more connected to individuals in need. Thankfully we have certain organizations committed to the same vision, creating awareness and managing the excess food in Bahrain during Ramadan.

Since 2014, Conserving Bounties has accomplished major strides by providing food to the less fortunate across the Kingdom of Bahrain. A large quantity of food deemed to be discarded serves a worthy purpose as it is packaged and distributed to the needy. Supriya Reginald spoke to Manaf Al Ani, Board Member and Founder of Conserving Bounties, as he emphasized the society’s role to offer and serve food to the needy. “In the beginning, our work with weddings, funerals, and large events and so on, brought us recognition, and the ministry decided to provide us with a license in 2015 making us an official entity. The same year we created a Board of Directors and managed to get corporate sponsors,” Mr. Al Ani told Weekender. 

Ghabgas and Lavish Iftars with a purpose

Conserving Bounties have struck collaboration with a number of hotels in Bahrain including Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Downtown Rotana, Sheraton Hotel, and The Gulf Hotel, as well as certain supermarkets to assist their cause and continue to work cohesively. “We’re not here to create bounties rather conserve them; at a buffet, a meal is already cooked and the remaining food can have a worthy purpose when given to the needy rather than discarded,” stated Mr. Al Ani.

An incredible 202,000 meals were distributed last year, gracing the tables of nearly 300 families and 15000 laborers in the Ramadan of 2018. Conserving Bounties has no set criteria for individuals who are qualified to receive the meals. Rather they have established a partnership with other societies who have a list of families and individuals that would benefit from such food programmes. “These beneficiaries aren’t in a situation where they go to bed with an empty stomach. The meal provided to a family helps reduce their expenditure. It will help them save,” revealed Mr. Al Ani. Emphasizing how those of us fortunate enough to have three square meals a day often take our fortunate situation for granted. “At the end of the day, people think they are entitled to what they have and take it for granted. Today they have these bounties, tomorrow they may not. Stop throwing food just because you don’t have the taste for it, second, eat with your stomach and not your eyes,” says Mr. Al Ani. 

Help Discreetly ( in a box)

Mr. Al Ani encourages people to do their part in helping people in a discreet manner. “Either a cleaner or a cold store owner; they will benefit from the food, but don’t take a selfie with them and broadcast it on social media. Imagine the roles were reversed, would you like to be showcased like that?”

To donate food or volunteer, contact info@bahrainfoodbank.com or call +973 33499499