MAC Newsletter, December 2018

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MAC News 75th Anniversary Edition

MSP Airport marks one year of donations to Loaves and Fishes


Loaves and Fishes - a Minneapolis-based non-profit that serves free meals across seven Minnesota counties - recently served its millionth meal statewide in 2018, and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) played a significant role in providing many of those meals.

The partnership between Loaves and Fishes and the airport began a little more than a year ago, as Loaves and Fishes picks up ready-to-eat items from airport concessionaires that are about to expire and then distributes them to those in need.

In recent weeks, individual pick-ups at MSP have totaled between 450 and 600 pounds per load. The food donations can end up at any of Loaves and Fishes’ 54 locations across the seven counties. The ready-to-eat items have been popular at several of Loaves and Fishes’ street-outreach sites in the Twin Cities area.

Pictured: Food from MSP at a Loaves and Fishes dining site located at a Salvation Army in North Minneapolis.

“Loaves and Fishes’ growth in the last year is a testament to the support we receive in the areas we serve,” said Cathy Maes, Loaves and Fishes’ executive director. “The donations of high quality food -- such as those from MSP Airport -- have helped us expand our services and provide an increasing number of guests with tasteful, nutritious meals.”


Volunteers with Loaves and Fishes serving meals at a Salvation Army site in North Minneapolis.

A couple of times each week, a truck pulls into a loading dock at MSP Airport and receives donations from concessionaires HMSHost and Caribou coffee shops. Another concessionaire, Delaware North, also provides donations.

HMSHost, which operates numerous restaurants at MSP, including French Meadow, MSP-To-Go and Starbucks, conceived the idea of donations to Loaves and Fishes. Food safety and quality standards in HMSHost restaurants mean that its leftover pre-packed foods – such as sandwiches and salads – have been ideal for the program.

“The donation program has worked well in its first year,” said Butch Howard, HMSHost senior director of operations at the airport. HMSHost’s donations are part of its company-wide commitment to community service and sustainability.

 “We’re very happy to help out Loaves and Fishes and to put the leftover food to good use,” Howard said.

MSP's Armed Forces Service Center spreads holiday cheer


A few days before Christmas, Joe Jansen (left), a volunteer at MSP's Armed Forces Service Center, provides a gift bag to Harley Sharp (center) and Josh Sharp, who both serve in the U.S. Army.

As uniformed members of the U.S. military returned home for the holidays and passed through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, they received a special welcome from the Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC).

For the four days prior to Christmas day, two crews of AFSC volunteers -- based here at MSP --  spotted armed forces members arriving on the baggage claim level and presented them with a bag of treats.

The gift-giving, called “Operation Elf,” is now in its fourth year. The 1,000 gift bags were filled with edible items including chocolate, crackers and other goodies. The uniformed military members are part of Holiday Block Leave, a program that frees up thousands of the military’s newest soldiers and allows them to travel home for the holidays.

Support Our Troops Haunted House, a local non-profit, donated the gift bags.

“We’re happy to welcome our armed forces home with a small gift that says we appreciate their service,” said Debra Cain, the executive director of the AFSC. “A little holiday cheer can make a big difference.”

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