Govt told to establish food banks as 5,000 households get food

Friday July 30 2021

Flag-off of the food distribution drive with the flags of Uganda and the UAE on display. PHOTO/ISMAIL MUSA LADU

By Ismail Musa Ladu

To reduce or even end the rampant hunger that has since been worsened by the effects of Covid-19 and its resultant containment measures, government has been advised to consider establishing food banks at the community level. 

Ms Jessica Bagenda, the co-founder and director of Haba Na Haba Food Bank, says her foundation which has expertise in establishing and managing food banks is willing to get involved in this endeavor by providing “technical support as and when required.’’ 

In that regard, the Nakawa East MP, Ronald Balimwezo, has pledged to establish community food banks in his constituency as a way to fight rampant hunger amongst the vulnerable in his constituency.  

He was responding to Ms Bagenda who called on government to establish community food banks as a way of saving food and eliminating wastage of fresh food yet many people across the country are going hungry every single day.

Both were speaking at the launch of the second phase of a food distribution drive started in Luzira, Nakawa Division in Kampala, early this week. 

The second phase of food distribution that started on Tuesday targets 5,000 vulnerable households selected by community local leaders and verified by Haba Na Haba team. 


The food ration, according to the Haba Na Haba, which is a Swahili phrase “for Little by Little” is expected to last the beneficiaries between three to four weeks. 

This initiative is in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) under its '100 Million Meals' global campaign and the United Arab Emirates embassy in Kampala plus the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN) from the Middle East. 

At least 1.25 million meals (125, 000 kilograms of food items) will be donated to various vulnerable families and groups in areas of Kampala, Kiira, Najeera, Wakiso, Mukono and Jinja. 

Each parcel, that can feed a family of five individuals for at least a month, contains 5kg of rice, 5kg of beans, 5kgs of maize flour, 2kgs of wheat flour, 2kgs of sugar, 3litres of milk and 1litre of cooking oil.

The beneficiaries of this assortment include many vulnerable people who missed out on the government Shs100, 000 Covid-19 relief cash meant for over 550, 000 Ugandans struggling to survive as a result of a 42-day lockdown.    

According to Ms Bagenda, this donation comes on time with hundreds of disadvantaged Ugandans grappling with hunger in unprecedented times, worsened by the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Low-income families and individuals, orphans, widows and refugees will also benefit from the project.    

SDG goals:  According to Ms Bagenda this initiative falls under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda to end hunger in the world. 

She said Haba Na Haba Food Bank ''believes that hunger is not a problem of poverty but a problem of logistics. She was of the view that being poor does not have mean going hungry and that is why they will continue fighting famine in the country.''

The second phase of food distribution drive cost just over Shs450million.

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