NORFOLK, Va. – The Transportation Security Administration team at Norfolk International Airport has taken “little acts of kindness” to an entirely new level.
The TSA workforce at the airport has been collecting non-perishable food since July and donating it every so often to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. The most recent donation put the total at 2,700 pounds, which is 1.35 tons. And they’re not done. The group is planning to donate even more by Dec. 18th, which is the date that the food bank said ensures the food can be distributed to local families in need before Christmas.
“What’s remarkable is the amount of food that we have collected,” said TSA Supervisor Brian Richards, who has been spearheading the collection effort. “So far we’ve donated the equivalent of about 2,500 meals. It has positively impacted so many people in our community.”
The TSA team, which includes TSA officers as well as inspectors and administrative staff, have been donating on a consistent basis and coordinating with the food bank as to when to drop off the goods. They have placed drop off bins near locations where the TSA team works such as near checkpoints, checked baggage area and they’ve even arranged curb-side drop-off area if someone is dropping off a substantial amount of food.
The most common donations include rice, cereal, juice, all types of beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, pasta, soup, ramen noodles, spaghetti, cranberry sauce and even cases of bottled water. He said that canned vegetables and fruit also are popular. Individuals also are purchasing full meals from their local grocery store, which are pre-packaged non-perishable items that provide a full dinner for one person.
Richards, who has been working for TSA for nine years, became involved in the food collection because it has been something that he and his family have been doing on their own for years. His children have even contributed their own money to purchase items for those in need.
“At TSA-Norfolk, we believe that serving the community is more than just performing our jobs,” said Jeffrey Horowitz, TSA’s Assistant Federal Security Director for Norfolk International Airport. When we went through the Federal government shut-down, the outpouring of support from the community was an incredible blessing that we have never forgotten and never will.
“I’m incredibly proud of the entire TSA team here at Norfolk for their dedication to helping members of the community who are less fortunate, especially during the pandemic when we have seen so many people lose their jobs, lose their income,” Horowitz said. “What is happening here is truly wonderful and heartwarming.”