Thursday 17 November 2022, 18:00

Local Charity to redistribute unused food at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

  • Hifz Alnaema to redistribute food from 12 stadiums and fan zones as part of tournament Food Waste Minimisation programme

  • Local charity responsible for redistribution of 3.8 million meals since 2008

  • Sustainability efforts reach beyond the tournament to create tangible local impact

What happens with leftover food at a massive international event like the FIFA World Cup™? In Qatar, the tournament organizing committee has devised an auspicious solution, partnering with local charity Hifz Alnaema to ensure that unused and surplus food is donated for redistribution to workers and other beneficiaries as part of the wider Food Waste Minimisation effort.

The Food Waste Minimisation programme was established in the wake of learnings from the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 where it was observed that organics, including food, comprised a significant portion of total waste. To prevent the disposal of otherwise safe, consumable food, it was agreed to work with the local experts at Hifz Alnaema—the first and oldest food bank and food recovery program in Qatar—who will be responsible for recovering surplus food from 12 venues, including stadiums and fan zones, to be redistributed to recipients in need.

The joint program is not the first cooperative initiative between Qatar 2022 and Hifz Alnaema, as previously over 1,400 meals were donated and delivered during the FIFA World Cup Draw and Congress in March. Since operations started in some official FIFA World Cup Sites in October 2022, thousands more meals have been donated.

Hifz Al Naema

Jose Retana, Sustainability Director for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ LLC said, “The Food Waste Minimisation programme depends on local civilian and social organizations like Hifz Alnaema with the network and resources to not only ensure the safe redistribution of food resources, but also to suggest innovative sustainability solutions for future tournaments and similar global events.”

Since 2008, Hifz Alnaema has worked closely with local communities to recover and redistribute meals from hotels, events and restaurants. Their vision is stated simply as “a waste-free Qatar” and over the years they have expanded their redistribution activities to include clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and other goods. To date, Hifz Alnaema have assisted over 3.76 million beneficiaries and delivered over 3.8 million meals.

Ali Ayed Al-Qahtani, Executive Director of Hifz Alnaema, remarked “A tournament like the FIFA World Cup encompasses much more than just football. Through the partnerships with local government and community organizations, a comprehensive vision for social, environmental and humanitarian sustainability comes to life, benefitting thousands outside the tournament and having a lasting, transformative effect on the local culture of charity and social cohesion.”

In addition to food donation, the Food Waste Minimisation programme also encompasses meal planning and order adaptation to minimise unconsumed meals. In addition, food from the tournament that is no longer safe for consumption will be composted at stadiums and other venues. This compost is processed together with pitch grass and other organic material to create fertilizer that is used across farms in Qatar.