Airport excess goes to feed the hungry and homeless

29 Feb

“HMS Host has very strict food quality standards,” he told me.  “The food is wholesome for seven days but we stop selling it after 24 hours because we want the freshest food…”

Which meant that a lot of good stuff was going in the garbage up until September 2010 anyway.

“We count it every month and and we’ve donated over 175,000 meals since the program’s inception,” said Juul.

That’s millions of pounds… all headed into the pantries of organizations like Feeding America Tampa Bay.

“And you know, every pound of donated food has a value of $1.60,” said Development Director Debbi McCarthy.  “So when we weigh this out food here today, you can see the retail value of that food and that’s typical for every single day.”

And according to Ms. McCarthy, this sort of pre-made food is perfect for many of their clients.

“It can go to places where they don’t have the ability to cook,” she said.  “So it’s immediately available for people like people at Pinellas Hope who are living basically in a large homeless shelter.” 

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And Angelia Mosley, with Pinellas HOPE says the ability for their clients to “grab and go” with the food is important in their attempts to re-enter society.

“That’s what our program is all about,” she said  “We want our homeless adult men to have the energy and have what it takes to get back in the mainstream.”

And speaking of mainstream… It seems like this idea is becoming a part of it… With airports in Seattle and Las Vegas set to implement similar give-away goals over the next year even  as those helping the homeless and hungry here watch their day-to-day needs.
 
Ms. Mosley made it clear as she bottom-lined this program… and its effects.  
“We would have not been able to do that without the help of Feeding America.”

Or the efforts of everyone at the airport turning their excess into a much needed meal.

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