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One million saved meals

One-third of the world’s food is wasted annually. By saving and repurposing just half of this waste, almost all the undernourished people in the world could be fed.

Three years ago, we started a collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), a foundation led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai, to do just that.

McKinsey is collaborating with MBRGI and the UAE Food Bank to deliver one million meals from repurposed food that would have otherwise gone to waste in the UAE. This one-million meal humanitarian initiative will help combat hunger and contribute to a larger one-billion meal campaign, fulfilling the foundation’s main goal of reducing food waste, especially during Ramadan. In fact, more than two million saved meals were delivered during this collaboration.

One-third of the world’s food is wasted annually. By introducing sustainability through diļ¬€erent means, food waste is not really wasted. Learn how from those who are making it happen.


saved meals delivered

exceeding the initial one million goal


vulnerable people benefited

across the United Arab Emirates


meal equivalent

recycled into compost and donated to local farms

Partnering with organizations and major food banks allows us to reimagine how saved meals can help tackle food insecurity and hunger in the coming years, and we are committed to enabling sustainable and inclusive growth.

Dr. Viktor Hediger Senior partner, Dubai

Our approach

To reduce food waste, we partnered with supermarkets, retail chains, hotels, and restaurants to repurpose food items that were near expiration and would otherwise be thrown out. We also worked with hotels and restaurants with excess food left over from buffets, especially during Ramadan. Finally, hotel and restaurant kitchen leftovers were recycled into compost that was then donated to farms across the UAE. To make this system work efficiently, we developed a digital tool that manages the ecosystem of donors and partners, designed a dashboard for tracking meals to create transparency on the number of meals packaged and delivered, and tally the number of vulnerable individuals and families who received the meals.

Three years of impact


We launched a campaign with MBRGI to deliver ten million meals to vulnerable families

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we supported the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to deliver ten million meals throughout the month of Ramadan. The campaign well exceeded its goal, delivering 15.3 million meals across the country.

We scaled efforts to deliver 100 million meals to over 30 countries

The campaign secured 216 million meals, more than double its goal, for vulnerable communities across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, making it the biggest food donation drive in the region.

We focused on repurposing food waste

As part of the one billion campaign, we collaborated with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and the UAE Food Bank to deliver one million saved meals from repurposing food waste.

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