Think for a moment about the grab n’ go shelves at any major airport, stocked with fresh premade yogurt parfaits, sandwiches and deli salads.
Now think about that food winding up in a compost bin – or worse yet, a landfill – if not sold in time to meet market standards.
Not wanting to see perfectly good food wasted, our waste minimization team implemented a food donation program in 2013, allowing Portland International Airport restaurants to donate unsold, ready-to-eat sandwiches, salads, parfaits, baked goods and produce. Since then, airport businesses have donated nearly 305 tons of food – the equivalent of more than 415,000 meals – to our local nonprofit partner, Urban Gleaners.
“Our ongoing partnership with the PDX food donation program greatly expanded the number of people we can reach with good, nutritious food,” said Tracy Oseran, founder of Urban Gleaners. “PDX is one of our largest weekly donors and this holiday season, we’re thankful for these efforts to help alleviate hunger in our community.”
Urban Gleaners makes as many as five weekly stops at PDX to pick up food from a common refrigerator and storage area. The donated food goes to the nonprofit’s facility for sorting and distribution, then out for delivery to 53 different locations in the metropolitan area, including local food kitchens and school districts in low-income areas. Urban Gleaners never charges for food.