United Airlines, Inc. said it has converted one of its cargo facilities at George Bush Intercontinental Airport into a food distribution center to help Houston Food Bank to feed families in need as the Coronavirus-led lockdown continues in the U.S.
The move was the brain child of one of United Airlines’ baggage team member, Mark Zessin, who is also presently leading a team of employee volunteers at the bustling facility.
The employee volunteers at the food distribution center are engaged in receiving, packing, sorting and distributing food and other items to families in need. They have already volunteered nearly 5,000 hours to date, while sorting and bagging nearly 160,000 pounds of food and household products.
The cargo facility will be used for inspection, sorting, and packing of produce. The volunteers will pick up produce at the cargo center to make safe, no-contact deliveries to reach households that must stay quarantined.
Further, United team members across the system have donated more than 159,000 pounds of food to food banks, hospitals and other organizations from United’s catering facilities and Polaris lounges.
United has also provided free flights for doctors, nurses and medical professionals traveling to the hard hit areas of New York, New Jersey and California to help battle COVID-19.
Among other things, the team members have donated 2,800 amenity kits to healthcare workers on the frontlines, $100k worth of advertising space in London to UNICEF to support its education efforts around COVID-19.
They have also operated more than 500 cargo charter flights that have moved over 18.7 million pounds of cargo, which include PPE, medical equipment, mail and other general cargo. Additionally, they operated nearly 100 repatriation flights to help nearly 17,000 people stranded abroad amid COVID-19 back home.
Across the United States, confirmed coronavirus cases have exceeded 787,900 and the death toll has risen to over 42,300, as of this writing. New York continues to be the worst-hit state in the U.S. Worldwide, just under 2,496,000 people have been infected, and over 171,200 people have died of the novel coronavirus so far, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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