Denver International Airport (DEN) is expanding its food donation program after being awarded a grant by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.
The US$20,313 grant was awarded to DEN through the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) grant program, and will be used to purchase eight new coolers to store food donated by airport concessions.
In late 2015, DEN launched a program where concessions and flight kitchens could donate leftover prepared entrees, side dishes, prepackaged salads and sandwiches, sealed beverages, condiment packets, canned good and other items, to be collected by Colorado hunger relief program Metro Caring.
Participants include Ayala’s, Provenzano, Delaware North Companies, LSG Sky Chefs, Paradies, Mission Yogurt, Tastes 5280, United Airlines Chelsea Food Services, Avila Retail, Simplicity USA and the Marshall Retail Group.
United Airlines has lent the airport two coolers to store the food, but these were often overflowing due to the high volume of donations – over 58,200 lb worth in 2016.
The new coolers will be installed on all three concourses and near the Jeppesen Terminal, allowing easier access for participating concessionaries and expanding the program’s storage capacity from 92ft3 to 460ft3.
Kim Day, DEN CEO, commented, “Denver International Airport is committed to all aspects of sustainability, including social responsibility through community partnerships.
“It is wonderful to see that our food donation program has become so successful that our coolers have been overflowing with donations from our generous business partners. By expanding this impactful program, we will be able to support even more Colorado families in need, while reducing our environmental footprint.”