ATLANTA — Even after being rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, Atlanta's hometown airline is finding a way to make good out of a bad situation.
Delta Air Lines said it would be donating more than 200,000 pounds of unused food to organizations who need it - including hospitals, food banks and others around the world - as frontline workers press on amid the COVID-19 crisis.
"Donating food is one of many ways our teams are demonstrating the indomitable Delta spirit during the ongoing pandemic," the company said.
The food that would have otherwise expired was left over after Delta adjusted service both on board its planes and in its Sky Clubs.
In addition to the donations of both perishable and non-perishable goods to Feeding America, Delta is working to provide long-term food service partners with resources they need to serve their communities. The company has helped their partners distribute food to shelters, first responders and other organizations in major hubs, including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. It's doing similar work internationally with partners in Nice, France.
Here in Atlanta, Delta said it is working with long-time partner and chef Linton Hopkins to provide trays and supplies to groups like ATLFAMILYMEAL, which serves hospitality workers and first responders at Emory University Hospital.
The effort comes as the airline company, along with others in the travel industry, took a major hit as the coronavirus pandemic became widespread and travelers and countries refrained from flying to help slow the spread of the virus.
Since then, Delta has had to make significant service cuts, lay of hundreds of contract workers and ask employees to take voluntary leave. Even the company's CEO, Ed Bastian, has taken a pay cut to save costs.
Despite that, Delta still is doing what it can to combat the coronavirus, including by providing free flights to medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and using its subsidiary to manufacture face shields to protect hospital workers.