A collaboration between the hunger relief nonprofit Philabundance and PHL Food & Shops has recently reached a milestone in donating more than 100,000 pounds of soon-to-expire food from airport concessions to Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) neighbors 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, as of March 2023.
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, City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation CEO; John Hollway, Philabundance Board President; Megha Kulshreshtha, Food Connect CEO & Head of Product; and Bill Gardiner, MarketPlace PHL 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 program,” 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, Chief Executive Officer of Philabundance, the largest hunger relief organization 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.
“Philabundance is proud of our partnership with MarketPlace PHL and the Philadelphia International Airport and grateful for their continued support in providing nutritious food to the communities we serve,” said Jones Brown. “This food rescue partnership offers much-needed relief for families struggling to put food on the table due to rising food costs and reductions of SNAP benefits.”
ABOUT MARKETPLACE PHL, LLC
MarketPlace PHL, LLC, is the private partner with the City of Philadelphia in the management of the food and retail programs throughout Philadelphia International Airport. The award-winning program offers more than 170 shops, restaurants and services. The MarketPlace PHL portfolio features local Philly favorites, as well as regional and national brands. MarketPlace PHL, LLC, is a partnership between MarketPlace Development, a Boston-based airport retail development firm, and LeJeune & Associates, a Philadelphia-based retail development, management and consulting firm. For more information, visit PHLFoodandShops.com.