United Airlines is turning its cargo facilities into food distribution centers
Demand for food banks is at an all-time high, and one United employee wanted to help
Demand for some food banks across the US is at an all-time high because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A staff member at United Airlines in Houston noticed the demand at his local food bank and wondered what he might be able to do about it.
According to ABC13, Mark Zessin, a United employee who usually handles baggage, is now leading a company-wide effort to transform empty cargo facilities into food distribution centers.
The Houston Food Bank is currently “working at 150%”, reported the outlet, and it ran a TV commercial asking for help — which Zessin saw.
He told ABC News, "They were quickly running out of room, and it was a challenge to find volunteers given the stay-at-home orders. I thought we may have some assets they could use."
Now hundreds of United employees from all departments are sorting, packaging and distributing up to 6,000 relief packages to families in need every day.
Houston airport United Communications Manager David Gonzalez said, "Mark is too humble to say this, but he has led these efforts. This wasn't the only idea Mark brought forth, but it's the biggest one so far."
"You get up in the morning and try to make a difference," Zessin said. "We all do."
The Houston project has been so successful, United said it is working to open a second distribution center at its cargo facility in San Francisco.
How are food banks coping in your local area? 🥫🍎🧃