Turning perishable items into steadfast good


A cafeteria kitchen full of food. A community in need. Team members eager to find some way to help the communities they live in during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Many things came together, and quickly, for American Airlines team members at its biggest hub to be able to donate perishable food to local nonprofit organizations this week.

It started with a suggestion by team members who use the Wheels Up Café at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). After the cafeteria closed last week, the team recognized an opportunity to repurpose food items, including assorted proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, to help those in their community.

“Our crew chief asked if we could help with the donation drive at the airport, and I was honored to take part,” TWU Fleet Service Agent Edith Gutierrez said of her participation in last week’s food drive. “I told him how proud I am to be a part of American Airlines and to serve the community around us.”

Team members organized quickly to donate nearly $10,000 of perishable goods to local food banks running low on items due to COVID-19.

“As soon as we knew the supplies were ready for distribution, we decided to partner with organizations that could get the food to where it’s needed most,” said DFW Director of Administration Michael Bryant. “Helping the community and team members is our top priority and we’re happy we have the means to do that.”

The donation is part of American’s continued commitment to help provide relief for those affected by COVID-19 and was delivered to three organizations in the North Texas: GRACE pantry in Grapevine, whose mission is to help end long-term poverty cycles; Café Momentum in Dallas, which teaches at-risk youth new skills that give them opportunities to achieve their full potential; and Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano, which provides healthy meals, educational resources and more to help families gain long-term food security.

In addition to this week’s donation, 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.
  • 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to Equal Heart in Dallas.
  • 2,900 pounds of food items to Minnie’s Food Pantry in Dallas.
  • 10,000 food items to the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, Texas.

“More than ever, American remains committed to supporting and caring for the communities we are a part of,” said Joe Taney, American Airlines Senior Vice President of DFW Operations. “We’re proud to call DFW home and will continue to look for opportunities to support relief and recovery efforts right here in our backyard.”

Download video footage

Footage of American team members loading goods for local communities is available via download for media use.

Fleet Service Agent Edith Gutierrez helps load food donated from the DFW's Wheels Up Café.

Team members and volunteers help unload items donated to Café Momentum in Dallas.