Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Delta has 200,000 pounds of food we can’t use. So we’re giving it to people in need

Photo Delta
Delta is providing more than 200,000 pounds of food to hospitals, community food banks and other organizations around the world to support people in need as well as those working tirelessly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Both perishable and non-perishable goods are being donated after Delta adjusted service offerings on board and in Delta Sky Clubs to reduce touchpoints between customers and employees. As a result, Delta has been left with food that would have expired before it could be served to customers. So in true Delta form, employee teams are engaging organizations that can immediately use the food. Efforts to identify and support organizations globally will be ongoing as we maneuver through these unprecedented times.

See below how Cristina Kjos, who works in Delta’s IT department has been making the most of her time during an unpaid leave of absence from the airline

Delta has longstanding relationships with organizations like Feeding America, a nonprofit network that helps us support numerous food banks and where employees help repack more than 2 million pounds of food annually. During the pandemic, local Feeding America organizations are distributing the donations to those in need.

In addition, Delta is working to help long-term food service partners including Linton Hopkins, Newrest and Sodexo with resources they need to serve their communities.

Here are some of the communities where Delta's food donation efforts are making a difference.​

So far in 2020, Delta has donated over 200,000 pounds of perishable food items from warehouses to Feeding America partner agencies across the U.S. and other charities, including Georgia Food & Resource Center and Missouri's Carthage Crisis Center. ​

Regional managers are working with caterers to donate food where needed. In Nice, France, Delta partnered with local caterer Newrest to donate pre-packaged snacks to hospitals and healthcare workers. Additionally, food and coffee were donated to MIR, an organization distributing free meals and providing shelter to the homeless and human trafficking survivors. Managers in New York are also doing their part by providing food donations to hospitals in their region. 

In Philadelphia, Delta partnered with SodexoMAGIC to donate over 500 pounds of food from the Delta Sky Club at the airport to a local Feeding America food bank.   

Delta Sky Clubs around the U.S. including those in Los Angeles and at New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports have activated programs similar to the one in Philadelphia, providing donations to first responders, local charities and churches.

Delta is working with Linton Hopkins –  an award-winning Atlanta chef and longtime Delta partner – to provide trays and packaging supplies to support food distribution with initiatives like ATLFAMILYMEAL, which delivers meals to Atlanta hospitality workers. Hopkins' team is delivering over 5,000 meals per week, including to first responders at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital.

Delta employees are caring for their colleagues by sending fresh Flight Fuel boxed meals to Reservations and Customer Care centers to support the teams responding to unprecedented numbers of customers needing to make changes to their flights.

Donating food is one of many ways our teams are demonstrating the indomitable Delta spirit during the ongoing pandemic. In March, we started providing free flights to medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and began utilizing Delta's wholly owned aircraft interiors subsidiary, Delta Flight Products, to manufacture face shields to protect hospital workers

Operation Face Mask: Delta employees serve communities while on leave

In an effort to help Delta Air Lines, thousands of Delta employees have decided to take a voluntary 30, 60, 90, or 120-day unpaid leave of absence. Despite the challenging decision to not work, Delta employees have continued to display the Delta Spirit by helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using her time away from work, Cristina Kjos, who works in Delta’s IT department has been sewing lined, washable face masks for healthcare workers. Cristina began sewing face masks for her personal needs. However, as her friends in healthcare heard about her project, she found herself running a small operation in her Minneapolis kitchen.

As hospitals began to run out of supplies, Cristina decided to help meet the needs of communities both locally and nationally. Using an online face mask pattern, Cristina chooses playful fabric prints for the face masks– from wine and pizza themes to Hello Kitty – to bring light to a dark time.

“It’s sad, but there’s hope,” said Cristina.” As we keep climbing together, we should not forget to smile. If you have the time, if you have the skill, if you have the resources, go and help, because we need that.”

With around 30 face masks completed, Cristina says this is only the beginning. For as long as there is a need, she will continue sewing her masks. With requests from Texas and Georgia as well as her home state of Minnesota, she plans to send her first 60 masks to friends in California.

“During this unprecedented time, our Delta family is rising to ever changing challenges in its usual spirited way” said Chief Information Officer Rahul Samant. “Cristina is doing an incredible and charitable service at a time of great stress for all of us. She embodies the best of the Delta spirit through her actions! I salute her and all of our people who are serving our communities, our customers, each other and our company.”

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