Australian Company Donates Uneaten Airline Food

OzHarvest Brisbane is working to solve the food waste problem by donating unused airline food to hungry Australians
airline food

Wikimedia Commons / Pat Guiney / CC BY 2.0

Behold, the most disrespected of all food forms.

In the public eye, airline food’s image has been poor for a while; something comedians have been joking about it for years. However, one Australian charity is out to change that.

OzHarvest Brisbane is a charity that brings unopened snacks and first-class meals to hungry Australians. Its method involves meeting airplanes at the Brisbane airport to collect safe and untouched food items. The company then repurposes that food, donating it to more than 200 charities in the area. Since its founding in 2004, OzHarvest has reclaimed roughly 400 to 900 pounds of food each day.

OzHarvest presents a model for aspiring charities across the globe. The United States’ food waste problem is staggering: We throw out 50 percent of all food produced each year. Americans waste $160 billion in food annually, while 48 million Americans are food-insecure, according to Feeding America.

This massive problem cannot be solved by a couple of organizations single-handedly. Some groups have begun to address the issue in creative and helpful ways, such as the folks donating extra food from the Democratic National Convention to hungry Philadelphians.


However, it’s going to take millions of Americans saving food in simple ways for the food waste situation to improve. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a few easy ways to reduce waste: plan before grocery shopping, store and freeze foods properly (so they don’t go bad), and use leftovers.