Restaurants at Sea-Tac International Airport have exceeded 100,000 pounds in food donations to the Des Moines Area Food Bank, the Port of Seattle announced this week. The community has benefited from 110,397 pounds of donated food from airport businesses — equivalent to roughly one third of the weight of an unloaded Boeing 777 aircraft. Through an innovative effort, the Port of Seattle encourages its airport stores to participate in the food donation program, this year alone providing 23,527 pounds of surplus food — or 361 meals per week — to the food bank. The trend of increased giving from 2011 to 2012 is even more striking. At 25,061 pounds, food donations increased 240 percent over 2011 donations of 7,370 pounds. Additional restaurant participation accounts for the dramatic uptick in donations. At the current collection rate, collected food is expected to pass a record 30,000 pounds by year’s end, an increase of 16 percent over last year’s total. “The program is a win-win-win for the community, the environment and the bottom line,” said Port of Seattle Environmental Program Manager Stacy Fox. “Community members benefit from a consistent source of nutritious meals, Sea-Tac reduces waste sent to landfill and donors save money by avoiding costly disposal fees.” Airport restaurants collect and store pre-packaged food, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and other unsold items in large-capacity refrigerators located in a designated room at the airport. Collected daily by volunteer drivers, the Des Moines Area Food Bank distributes the donated food to residents throughout the local community. Sea-Tac is one of only a handful of airports across the country that has a Food Donation Program in place. Nineteen stores participate in the program, with HMSHost and Hudson News leading the donation effort. Hudson News, Alki Bakery, Ken’s Baggage and Frozen Food Storage and Dilettante Chocolates have participated in the program since its inception seven years ago. The Des Moines Area Food Bank works collaboratively with thirteen other food banks to meet the immediate needs of the community. Watch this video about Sea-Tac Airport’s food donation program: [youtube][/youtube] Additional recycling and reuse efforts The Food Donation Program is an extension of Sea-Tac’s existing recycling program. The airport kept 30 percent of terminal waste from ending up in landfills last year by expanding the food donation program and other recycling and composting efforts, increasing the number of recycling receptacles in the terminal, and through training and partnering with tenants and their employees. The Washington State Recycling Association recognized Sea-Tac as a 2013 Recycler of the Year for outstanding recycling achievements including a recycling rate with an estimated savings of more than $300,000. To donate directly to the Food Bank online, click here:]]>