What’s happened to all that food that would have fed travelers who aren’t flying during the coronavirus outbreak? It’s landing in food banks to help hungry New Jersey residents.
United Airlines recently donated 15,000 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food that was to be used to serve customers from Newark Airport. The donations were split between the airline’s community partners including City Harvest, Food Bank of South Jersey and Community Food Bank of South Jersey.
United’s donation includes donated 6,000 pounds of shelf-stable and frozen meals and nutritious soup, cheese, nuts, and more.
The donations come at a time when the amount of donated food has fallen off, food bank officials said.
"(The food bank) has seen well over 800,000 pounds less in donated food each month so far, since this crisis began," said Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "We're grateful for our partnership with United Airlines and for this generous food donation, which comes to us at a time when it's needed most.”
With workers either laid-off or out of work, due to the closure of non-essential businesses, the demand at food banks has increased.
“With escalating food insecurity impacting South Jersey due to COVID 19, the Food Bank of South Jersey is responding to an over 200 percent rise in food need at this time,” said Fred C. Wasiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. “We are deeply appreciative of the depth of compassion and true spirit of community care of United Airlines during this unprecedented time.”
United officials said the donations reflect the airline’s commitment to the communities it serves.
“As a company, we feel it is essential to support where our employees and customers live and work in any possible way during the crisis, including donating food to feed the growing number of families that need assistance,” said Jill Kaplan, President of New Jersey/New York for United Airlines.
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Larry Higgs may be reached at [email protected].
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