American donates 81,000 pounds of Admirals Club and inflight food to food banks

Apr 10, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has taken a stark toll on America’s economy.

In the past few weeks, more than 16 million citizens have filed for unemployment — a record-breaking reminder of the disease’s social impact.

The travel industry has been hit particularly hard, with demand for airline tickets and new hotel reservations in free fall. That’s left American Airlines with a surplus of unserved food that was originally intended for inflight meals and Admiral’s Club catering.

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Now, the airline has decided to put that food to good use and donate it to food banks around the country.

“We saw this as an opportunity to care for the communities where our team members and customers live and work,” Ron DeFeo, senior vice president – global engagement for American, said in a statement. “The challenges facing local food banks and the growing need for families to utilize the resources these organizations offer have been well documented. Once we learned of the surplus, we knew exactly what we were going to do with it.”

With unemployment claims continuing to rise, food banks have seen a jump in demand for their services.

Related: Delta is donating more than 200,000 pounds of food to the coronavirus relief effort.

To help answer that demand, American has donated more than 81,000 pounds of food so far this month. Those donations include:

  • 63,000 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
  • 26,000 meals to St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix.
  • 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to Equal Heart in Dallas.
  • 1,100 pounds of milk to Minnie’s Food Pantry in Dallas.
  • 10,000 food items to the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, Texas.

The airline said its donations include everything from “breakfast items to fresh produce.”

American employees have found other ways of helping the national COVID-19 response, too.

Read more: TSA reaches new low record for screenings.

Workers across the airline’s network have started making face masks to distribute to their colleagues and other frontline workers whose jobs deny them the opportunity to socially distance. In Miami, a team of American employees even converted a boarded-up Admiral’s Club into a temporary textile factory.

According to American, its employees have sewn more than 1,300 face masks in the last week.

Featured photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy

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