London Luton Airport has donated some 100,000 confiscated items collected from passengers at airport security to the Luton Foodbank.
Yanii Van Der Logghe, a security lane leader at the airport, had the idea to donate the items after she visited the foodbank and was struck by the number of families struggling to put food on the table.
Following Van Der Logghe’s suggestion, a six-month trial began in 2019, which proved so successful it has been rolled out permanently. Passengers now have the choice to either check-in a confiscated item, forward it by post or donate it to the Luton Foodbank by placing it in a dedicated crate at each security lane. The items are then collected, sorted and distributed by Luton Foodbank volunteers.
Under current Department for Transport rules, liquids, gels and pastes over 100ml cannot be taken in hand luggage. The most common items donated include toiletries, jams and marmalades, and spreads and pastes such as Nutella and Marmite.
When more items are collected than the foodbank can take, foodbank volunteers create hampers to raise money for the charity. Confiscated items were also included as part of Christmas gift boxes created by airport staff for cancer sufferers at the nearby Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, through the airport’s charity partnership with Macmillan.
Neil Thompson, operations director at London Luton Airport, said, “We’re really proud of Yanii for driving this idea forward and we’re delighted it has been so successful. This is just another small example of how London Luton Airport is supporting the communities we serve.”
The airport also donates unclaimed suitcases so that children in care or in crisis have something to transport their belongings in.