Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

Children wait for meals provided through the initiative, Family Kitchen, which packages excess foods from five-star hotels to underprivileged families during the holy month of Ramadan, in Al-Baqaa Palestinian refugee camp, near Amman, Jordan, June 11, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor

  • A team of volunteers collect unwanted food from lavish Ramadan buffets
  • Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago

AMMAN: At the end of a lavish Ramadan buffet in the banquet hall of one of Amman’s five-star hotels, a young Jordanian charity worker rushes to gather up left-over food that his team of volunteers will package and redistribute to needy families.
Bandar Sharif began his ‘Family Kitchen’ initiative 10 years ago, angered by the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region.
“What we do is eliminate this waste, we salvage the food and provide it to people who are in desperate need of it,” said Sharif, a 33-year-old teacher.
His team of volunteers now works all year round to collect unwanted food from large wedding parties, bakeries and restaurants.
This year the initiative has focused on the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, one of the depressed areas in a country that has seen some of the biggest protests in years this month over steep price hikes, which are backed by the International Monetary Fund.
Critics say the price hikes are to blame for rising poverty in Jordan.
Family Kitchen’s initiative this year provides ‘iftar’ meals — eaten by Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan — to 500 families in the impoverished refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman.
A third of the camp’s 120,000 residents have an income below the national poverty line and around 17 percent are unemployed, the UN refugee body says.
“Our families are very poor, there is a lot of poverty in the community, so they need this support, they need these meals in order to ensure that they have food the next day,” said Kifah Khamis, who runs a charity in the sprawling camp.
One camp resident, Um Thair, a mother of four, said she could not have coped without the meals delivered to her family.
“I was able to save money. During Ramadan I didn’t have to buy a lot of food or shop a lot, we got most of our meals from the charity, we would come everyday and get our iftar meal,” she said.


Paul McCartney teases ‘Egypt Station’

The rock legend on social media released a video of the Pyramids and palm trees swaying in the wind. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Paul McCartney teases ‘Egypt Station’

  • McCartney and his label did not provide further details but speculation immediately grew that he was ready with his next album, which would be his first of new material since 2013.

NEW YORK: Paul McCartney on Monday teased news of “Egypt Station” — presumed to be the title of his next album — as the former Beatle celebrated his 76th birthday.

The rock legend on social media released a video of the Pyramids and palm trees swaying in the wind on a sand-colored background set to snippet of ambient music mixed with vehicular traffic.

McCartney and his label did not provide further details but speculation immediately grew that he was ready with his next album, which would be his first of new material since 2013.

While McCartney is more known for an interest in India than Egypt, a 1999 painting by the musician and artist was entitled “Egypt Station” and depicted sunflowers and animals under a blue sky. McCartney, who toyed with retirement following the end of The Beatles more than 40 years ago, has shown a burst of energy as a septuagenarian and toured the world for much of 2016 and 2017.