PHL concession operators helping feed neighbours in need
More than 100,000lbs of soon-to-expire food donations from concession operators at Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) have been donated to a local charity that helps “neighbours in need”.
In total, the joint effort between Philabundance and PHL merchants has resulted in 108,825 pounds of food and approximately 141,500 meals donated.
An event was held to commemorate the milestone achievement of 100,000 pounds of food donated to families and communities in-need on Wednesday, April 19. The brief ceremony was held at the A/B Loading Dock at PHL, where donated food is staged in safe storage.
Representatives from PHL, Philabundance, Food Connect and MarketPlace PHL— who each played essential roles in making this milestone possible, were in attendance at the celebration.
Presenters included Atif Saaed, CEO of the City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation; John Hollway, Philabundance board president; Megha Kulshreshtha, Food Connect CEO and head of product; and Bill Gardiner, MarketPlace PHL’s operations manager.
Since 2019, PHL restaurants and merchants bring surplus food items daily to a central point in the airport, where affiliates of Philabundance collect them for distribution.
“We are proud and passionate about this food donation programme,” said Melwood Hannah, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace PHL.
“As a family of merchants and concessionaires, helping to put food on the table for others and giving back to our community is always a top priority.”
Many of the donated items are ready-to-go meals, such as sandwiches and salads. The majority of these foods are approaching their ‘best’ by dates – the dates the restaurant or retailer decides an item is no longer ideal for sale to customers even though it is still safe for consumption for some time after.
Philabundance has created guidelines to determine the number of days beyond an item’s ‘best by’ date that the food is still wholesome.
“While Philabundance serves over 135,000 people each week, there are more than 600,000 people in our region, including children and seniors, who go to bed each night not knowing where their next meal is coming from – or if they’ll have one at all,” said Loree Jones Brown, CEO of Philabundance, the largest hunger relief organisation in the Philadelphia region.
Among the PHL Food & Shops contributors to Philabundance and MarketPlace PHL’s food donation initiative are Chickie’s & Pete’s, OTG, HMS Host, La Colombe, Chick-fil-A, Hudson News and more.
There are more than 40 restaurants, express food and grab-and-go locations throughout PHL Food & Shops.