MUSCAT, June 11 - While most hotels admit that a humongous amount of food goes waste during the holy month of Ramadhan, they also agree the leftover food can be collected and distributed among the poor.
Sample this: an average of 60 kg of cooked food has gone waste this month at a star hotel in the capital city of Muscat, besides several kilos of uncooked/raw food, ingredients, and fruits and vegetables.
Hotels across the country host iftars, dinners and suhour on behalf of corporates, individuals and families during this month. A major chunk of food — mostly buffet meals — go waste.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, there are nearly a dozen five-star hotels, 15 4-star, ten 3-star and nearly 20 star hotels and dozens of restaurants in the capital, catering to its clients.
A simple math is enough to conclude that the quantity of food going waste is mind-boggling.
“A lot of food goes waste every day during the holy month since clients order more food (than necessary) so they don’t run short,” said the general manager of a leading hotel on condition of anonymity.
He said some hotels keep “food reserves” so that the last-minute orders can be met.
Both hotels and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) welcomed the idea of collecting and distributing leftover food among the poor.
“Keeping big fridges in some parts of the city during Ramadhan will help hotels and families to deposit leftover food which can be distributed among the poor,” says Aarti of Tulip Redington.
“NGOs can play a key role in facilitating the same,” she added.
“We are happy to have such an initiative. This needs private-public partnership,” said Hyesha, an environmentalist.
Hotels too need to be more forthcoming by offering the leftover food to NGOs. The latter need an assurance (from hotels) that leftovers would be given to them.
“NGOs carrying food in proper containers is a positive initiative. Efforts should be taken to avoid food contamination,” said Shafik Alaaeddine, General Manager, Mysk Al Mouj.