London Stansted Airport recognised for foodbank contributions at national award ceremony

London Stansted Airport won a top national award for their support of Essex foodbanks, at the Better Society Awards last night in London. The airport won the ‘Waste Management and Recycling Programme of the Year’ category, thanks to their programme of donating food and toiletries surrendered at airport security to charity.

The donations are generated by passengers who are not complying with security regulations about restricted items in their hand luggage, introduced nearly 12 years ago. From fancy preserves and spreads to tinned fish and cosmetics, a wide variety of potential donations are regularly being left behind.

Although this can be disappointing for those travelling, local Essex families have been benefitting with extra items in their food parcels since 2017. The partnership between London Stansted Airport and local foodbanks has generated up to two tonnes every month of donations from passengers’ surrendered items, directly supporting vulnerable people in the airport’s local communities.

While it’s a shame some items have to be left behind by passengers misunderstanding the rules, it means we can contribute to the important work of local foodbanks in providing much-needed food, toiletries and essentials to local families. We’re delighted with how well the past year of this scheme has gone, and it wouldn’t be possible without our staff volunteering to go over and above to help get these items to the food banks. We look forward to continuing to donate as many items as possible in the future.
Martin Churley, Stansted’s Environment Manager

Airport waste management staff, who collect, store and pack the items voluntarily, attended the awards ceremony to receive the prize - Kim Ruskin and Annie Meeten who volunteer and pick up the items in their own time to deliver to the foodbanks and Sergio Magalhaes, whose team from Mitie segregate all the items.