AUSTIN, TEXAS – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is working with concessionaires and Keep Austin Fed to operate a terminal Food Rescue Program. The Food Rescue Program donates food to the Austin community rather than having the unsold, packaged food going to the landfill.
“We are so thrilled when organizations like ABIA join our fight to reduce the 40 percent of food wasted in America by redistributing their wholesome surplus food to some of the approximately 180,000 people in Austin who don't know where their next meal will come from,” said Lisa Barden, Keep Austin Fed Program Director.
The Food Rescue Program was initiated by Austin’s airport on March 1, 2017, and within the first month, the program gathered over 3,500 unsold food products to donate to those in need. Unsold food products included sandwiches, salads, snack boxes and buns.
“While working on the composting and recycling initiatives, we realized there was a perfect opportunity to implement a food rescue program,” said B.J. Carpenter, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. “As part of our overall waste program and sustainability goals, we look for new ways to reduce waste and keep things out of the landfill.”
The program focuses on preventing unopened packaged food from being discarded by distributing the food to individuals in need within the community. Paradies Lagardere donated a refrigerator to store donated food, in the Barbra Jordan Terminal. Keep Austin Fed picks up the food on weekdays. Coordinating the logistics between the terminal and pick up is Bradford Airport Logistics.
“We’re proud and excited to be part of the ABIA community that puts so much effort into giving back through our daily concessions operations inside the airport,” said Jennifer Watson, General Manager of Food and Beverage at Paradies Lagardere ABIA. “Taking only a few moments out of our daily routine, we’re able to provide much needed meals and food products to very worthy local groups that assist in providing meals to Austin area residents in need.”
Donations are taken to Foundation Communities (Skyline Terrace, Arbor Terrace and Bluebonnet Studios) in Austin, which provide families with an affordable place to call home. Donations also go to the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center, which has been providing affordable housing for the elderly in Austin for over 40 years on the north side of Lady Bird Lake.
“We are honored to help with this great cause,” said Terry Mahlum, Regional Vice President at Delaware North. “With our made today and gone today sandwiches, this program allows us to donate these sandwiches to a great local group. Delaware North is committed to this city.”
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