Unsold airport food helps feed the hungry in Atlanta

1404483620000-airport-foodATLANTA — At the world’s busiest airport, giving back goes on nonstop.

HMSHost, which operates dozens of kiosks and restaurants at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, donates about a ton of unsold food every week to the Salvation Army.

The process starts in the concourse kitchen, where sandwiches, salads, parfaits, desserts and fruit cuts are prepared fresh every day.

According to company policy, everything must be sold within 24 hours.

“Everything has a date on the back.” said Doug Williams with HMSHost.

Employees put anything left unsold at the end of the day into donation bins.

It’s high-quality food from places like Starbucks and La Madeleine that’s still safe to eat and delicious.

“With the shelf life, the product is good for two to three more days,” Williams added.

Every other day, a Salvation Army van goes through security and parks on the tarmac to pick up hundreds of food items. it amounts to about a ton of food a week.


HMSHost donates hundreds of salads and sandwiches from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to the Salvation Army every week.(Photo: wxia)

“All of it could go to waste. It could be thrown away, instead of being donated to the Salvation Army,” Williams explained. “But you always want to give back, and it’s something we can easily do. It’s always nice to be able to help people in need.”

Last year, HMS Host donated 20,000 food items in Atlanta and more than three million at airports nationwide.