The grant, which was awarded to DEN through the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) grant programme, is being used to purchase eight new coolers to store food donated by participating airport concessions.
The airport launched a pilot programme in late 2015 in which participating airport concessions and flight kitchens could donate leftover prepared entrees, side dishes, prepackaged salads and sandwiches, sealed beverages, condiment packets, canned goods and other items that are then picked up by Metro Caring – a leading Colorado hunger relief programme.
Previously, the airport was relying on two coolers on loan from United Airlines to store these items. But with more than 58,200 pounds of food donated in 2016, the existing coolers were often overflowing and presented a logistical challenge for some companies.
The new coolers will be installed on all three concourses and near the Jeppesen Terminal, allowing easier access for participating concessionaires.
The new equipment also expands the programme’s storage capacity from 92 cubic feet to 460 cubic feet.
“Denver International Airport is committed to all aspects of sustainability, including social responsibility through community partnerships,” enthuses airport CEO, Kim Day.
“It is wonderful to see that our food donation programme has become so successful that our coolers have been overflowing with donations from our generous business partners.
By expanding this impactful programme, we will be able to support even more Colorado families in need while reducing our environmental footprint. This is indeed a true win-win programme!”
Current participating concessions and flight kitchens 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.