SAN DIEGO – December 21, 2016 – Over 3,000 service members and their families travel home for the holidays through San Diego International Airport’s (SAN) Neil Ash Airport USO; more than double the average number of daily visitors the USO facility serves. In an effort to help the USO meet the demand, the Airport Authority worked with airport shops and restaurants on a program to offer meals and snacks.
“The greatest need of the USO during the December holiday period is meals, as many service members travel with little to no money, often encountering long layovers,” said Angela Shafer-Payne, the Airport Authority’s Vice President of Operations. “To help close that gap, the Airport Authority reached out to its airport concessionaires for a solution, and they – along with airport passengers – stepped up in a big way.”
Between December 1 and December 25, 2016, passengers could purchase a package of snacks worth approximately $10 at participating airport retailers. Items included a bottle of water, granola and protein bars, chips, and other assorted snacks.
“This month, thousands of passengers purchased more than $30,000 worth of food and water for the service men and women traveling home for the holidays,” said Justin Butterfield, General Manager of the Hudson Group, which operates nine retail stores at the airport. “Giving back to the men and women who keep America safe is a great cause, and we’re proud we were able to deliver.”
Additionally, a number of airport restaurants teamed up to donate hot meals. Participating restaurants included Saffron Thai, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Ryan Bros. Coffee, Pacifica Breeze Café, and Tommy V’s Pizzeria.
DOWNLOAD VIDEO: Hi-resolution b-roll video of the donated snacks and hot meal service is available for download here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e8uuk5yv2s0zyb5/AAA2r3dZzCu8ILxLgoHDqhfka?dl=0