Coronavirus: How the community is supplying free meals to UAE labour camps

Initiative, led by Indian businessman Harmeek Singh, aims to ensure no one sleeps hungry


Dubai: Box of Hope, a community initiative started by Harmeek Singh, a Dubai based businessman, along with others has teamed up with the UAE Food Bank and International Humanitarian and Charity Organisation UAE, to provide around 2,500 daily free meal boxes to various labour camps in the UAE.

Singh, who is the founder and CEO of Plan B Group under whose umbrella the initiative is run, told Gulf News, “After talks with the International Humanitarian and Charity Organisation in the UAE and agreements with Dubai Municipality for associating with the UAE Food Bank, our Box of Hope teams are delivering free food to blue collared workers along with a restaurant chain called Punjabi Dhaba twice a day. We are catering to around 1,400 workers in Ajman, besides supplying 800-plus boxes to camps in Dubai.

We are also supplying 250 boxes containing weekly groceries, plus masks, gloves and hand sanitisers, to around 100 homes that have expressed a need for them.”

NAT 200415 Harmeek Singh, Founder & Owner, Plan b Group-1586933313457
Harmeek SinghImage Credit: Supplied

No one sleeps hungry

He said, “We joined hands with Amanjeet Singh, MD of Punjabi Dhaba, to provide the non-profit package meals. It is important for us to stand by each other and do the best we can. In these testing times, it is important for us as residents of the UAE, regardless of where we come from, to stand together and create a more humane environment.

The main objective of Box of Hope is to spread hope, and at this juncture we need to be able to address the most basic of needs such as food. We must begin to share whatever we have and ensure that no one sleeps hungry.”

Singh said with the ramifications of the pandemic likely to have an impact on the mental health of many workers, Box of Hope is also organising online counselling sessions with a well-known life coach, Dr Ramon Llamba.

Emirati lawyer and Box of Hope founding member Joslin Khairallah, MD of Khairallah Advocates & Legal Consultants, said, “I believe that at the start, Box of Hope gave positive energy to many workers by working hand by hand to make them aware about their legal rights and legal procedures.

The main objective is to always try to make people feel like they are not alone, and that we are supporting them.” More

Sharmila Dhal, Assistant Editor gulfnews,com