American Airlines Donates More Than 81,000 Pounds of Food to Area Food Banks

Thursday, April 09, 2020, 2:45 PM

Food banks in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix received donations

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines distributed more than 81,000 pounds of food to food banks across the country, through its partnership with Feeding America, to help restock their dwindling supplies.

Food banks have seen an uptick in visitors since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak because the of the virus’s financial impact on families. Air travel demands have also changed due to COVID-19, and American realized a surplus of food from its inflight service and Admirals Club lounges. Now, the airline is donating food ranging from breakfast items to fresh produce to support area food banks.

“We saw this as an opportunity to care for the communities where our team members and customers live and work,” said Ron DeFeo, Senior Vice President – Global Engagement for American. “The challenges facing local food banks and the growing need for families to utilize the resources these organizations offer have been well documented. Once we learned of the surplus, we knew exactly what we were going to do with it.”

So far in April, American has donated:

  • 63,000 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
  • 26,000 meals to St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to Equal Heart in Dallas.
  • 1,100 pounds of milk to Minnie’s Food Pantry in Dallas.
  • 10,000 food items to the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, Texas.
Team members unpacked food donated to Tarrant Area Food Bank.

Team members unpacked food donated to Tarrant Area Food Bank.

American donated thousands of pounds of food to different food banks, including breakfast bags that contained yogurt and a fig bar.

American donated thousands of pounds of food to different food banks, including breakfast bags that contained yogurt and a fig bar.

Volunteers helped sort food items for families in Fort Worth.

Volunteers helped sort food items for families in Fort Worth.

People volunteer and bring food to their local food banks year-round, but the sudden rise in demand due to COVID-19 is being felt across the country. Staff members at different food banks voiced their support for American and its commitment to helping fight hunger.

“Food banks are working around the clock to meet this rising demand, but we cannot do it alone,” said Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “This generous product donation from American Airlines will ensure more of our neighbors have the food they need during this challenging time.”

“In these difficult times there is no way St. Mary’s Food Bank could keep up with the incredible need from tens of thousands of families without great partners joining us,” said St. Mary’s Food Bank President and CEO Tom Kertis. “Our thanks to American Airlines for their donation of 25,000 breakfast bags that will help curb a demand that has tripled in the space of two weeks.”

“Donations from American are helping food banks in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix stay afloat as they help families impacted by the pandemic. Keven Vicknair, President and CEO, Equal Heart, said he has noticed an ever-increasing need for support because both food banks and the people they serve are being affected financially.

“Companies like American Airlines…enable us to remain operational, especially now during the pandemic when demand is so high,” Vicknair said. “Personally, I am thrilled when local companies such as American donate food as it demonstrates a sense of community and the belief that we are all in this together and will only come through it if we work together.”

“When Minnie’s Food Pantry needed milk for kids in our community, it was American Airlines that answered the call. Instead of discarding the milk that they no longer needed because of facility shut down, they thought outside the box and donated to Minnie’s Food Pantry,” said Dr. Cheryl Jackson, Founder, Minnie’s Food Pantry. “We are grateful to receive this incredible donation which resulted in so many smiles the very next day. We appreciate our partnership with American Airlines, it’s something special.”

“We will use these breakfast meals with the Fort Worth ISD and Birdville ISD to provide meals to children who normally receive the free breakfast and lunch meals at their school, said Julie Butner, President and CEO of Tarrant Area Food Bank. “We are so appreciative of this gift because it will allow us to continue to provide meals for FWISD and Birdville ISD students while they stay safe at home.”

Later this month, American will give more than 10,000 food items to the Global Food Bank Network in Hong Kong.

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Footage of American team members unpacking food donations at a food back in Fort Worth, Texas is available via download for media use.

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About American Airlines Group
American Airlines offers customers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. With a shared purpose of caring for people on life's journey, American's 130,000 global team members serve more than 200 million customers annually. Since 2013, American has invested more than $28 billion in its product and people and now flies the youngest fleet among U.S. network carriers, equipped with industry-leading high-speed Wi-Fi, lie-flat seats, and more inflight entertainment and access to power. American also has enhanced food and beverage options in the air and on the ground in its world-class Admirals Club and Flagship lounges. American was recently named a Five Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Airline of the Year by Air Transport World. American is a founding member of oneworld®, whose members serve 1,100 destinations in 180 countries and territories. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company's stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what's happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.