A study in Saudi Arabia reveals that the food wasted in Makkah could feed 17 percent of hungry children in 18 developing countries.
The study forecasts that Saudi Arabia’s growing population would increase waste from 14 million tons this year to 17.5 million tons in 2020, which will be sufficient for an estimated 4.8 million starving children in Africa, Asia and Latin American countries, said Ahmad Al-Matrafi, director general of a charity food project in Makkah.
Al-Matrafi said that every person produces about 1.2 to 1.4 kg of waste a day at an average which will be sufficient to feed at least 250 people.
He said that during the mid-year holidays, 60 out of 120 halls and resorts in Makkah were approached, and with the surplus food collected at weddings and other social events, about 24,000 people were fed.
However he said that Thirty percent of Makkah’s people do not inform anyone about the availability of surplus food.
Experts have scratched their heads to find ways to utilize the surplus food left by Saudis, which usually ends up in the garbage can. The charity was trying to create awareness about the situation so that more needy people can be helped, he said.
Accoding to Arab news, Sheikh Saleh bin Humaid, imam and khateeb of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, said in his Friday sermon that people would become more responsible if they count their blessings.
“If they fail to do so and become ungrateful, Allah may take these good things away from them.” Protecting one’s blessing was a form of worship, he said.