YVR Swaps Baggage Carts for Shopping Carts

Vancouver Airport Authority launches $100,000 partnership with
Quest Food Exchange to reduce hunger and foster sustainability

RICHMOND, BC, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Vancouver International Airport employees pushed shopping carts full of groceries instead of baggage carts full of luggage as part of a $100,000 partnership with Quest Food Exchange, announced today.

Airport Authority and other airport employees weaved a caravan of 50 shopping carts piled high with food donations through the terminal. This visual call to action was designed to rally participation in the new Quest partnership amongst the more than 23,000 people who work on Sea Island.

"Most people don't immediately associate Vancouver International Airport with food, but the reality is that between those working at or travelling through YVR, we feed the equivalent of a small city here each and every day," said Anne Murray, Vice President, Community and Environmental Affairs. "This partnership makes a lot of sense for us in that we are able to help feed the larger community we serve, while supporting our environmental initiatives by encouraging our retail partners to divert food to Quest that would otherwise go to the landfill."

As the Official Transportation Sponsor of Quest, the Airport Authority will donate $100,000 to Quest over the next two years as part of its community investment program. This program will distribute more than $650,000 in 2011 to organizations that work in the Airport Authority's focus areas of community, First Nations and employee-driven giving.

"The Airport Authority's sponsorship will not only augment the collection and delivery of food to allow us to better serve our clients, but will also help facilitate key relationships with YVR employees, partners, tenants and travellers that will only enhance and broaden our reputation in Metro Vancouver and internationally," said Peter Brasso, President of the Board, Quest Food Exchange. "We are very grateful for the entire YVR community's generous support and look forward to a fruitful partnership over the coming years."

Support of the Quest partnership has already begun within the YVR community, with retail tenants such as Hudson Group, HMS Host and Paradies Shops (which represent such brands as Hudson News, White Spot and BC Marketplace, respectively), donating more than $100,000 in food that has gone to kitchen tables rather than to the landfill. Donations from the YVR community are re-packaged and sold at one of Quest's three low-cost grocery stores. The Vancouver Fairmont Airport Hotel is also participating in the partnership, with a recent donation of furniture that will be available to Quest's partnered social service agencies.

The Airport Authority's financial commitment will allow Quest to purchase a second refrigerator truck for its fleet, thereby enabling the organization to achieve its target to collect $9.2 million worth of food - which translates to 3,234 tonnes of waste diverted from landfills - over the next two years.

"It was the Airport Authority's own 'Green Team' - a group of employees tasked with finding new and unique ways to improve the airport's impact on the environment - that identified Quest as an ideal community partner," said Murray. "We're delighted to build on our employees' enthusiasm for this project and look forward to bringing on more YVR community partners to support Quest."

About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that operates Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) served 16.8 million passengers in 2010 and handled more than 293,000 aircraft landings and take-offs on its runways. Sixty-seven airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to 119 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. The Airport Authority is committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.

About Quest Food Exchange
Working with surpluses from grocery stores, wholesalers, distributors, dairies and bakeries, Quest Food Exchange collects and distributes overstock, mislabelled or near-expiry products that would otherwise go to waste and diverts that food to people who need it. Quest operates three low-cost grocery stores offering a full range of food to 300+ social service agencies and their clients for a fraction of the retail cost. For more information, visit www.questoutreach.org.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority

For further information:

Media Relations
Vancouver Airport Authority
604.880.9815 ; media_relations@yvr.ca
www.yvr.ca Twitter: @yvrairport

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