Allegiant team members donated a van full of crackers, cookies and assorted snack foods, sodas and juices to a neighborhood food pantry that was founded as a resource for Las Vegans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The items, including 96 cases of soda, 15 cases of juice, hundreds of packages of pretzels, crackers and other snack items, were valued at more than $2,000. They were originally purchased by the airline to serve on board flights during March, when visitors would typically travel en masse to Las Vegas for NCAA basketball tournaments and other events. But games were canceled and travel restrictions put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, demand for travel plummeted.
Now the food and drinks will go to good use, supplementing care packages that the Vegas Community Pantry has been delivering to locals who find themselves in need as a result of the pandemic.
“As Las Vegas’ hometown airline, we want to do everything we can to support our community during this uncertain time,” said Hilarie Grey, Allegiant’s managing director of corporate communications. “Because of the decrease in demand for travel, we found ourselves with an unusual excess of snacks and drinks that we’d typically serve to our passengers. We are gratified to know that our supplies can give some comfort to our neighbors right here in Las Vegas.”
Allegiant chose the Vegas Community Pantry because of its neighborhood location – it is operated out of founder Jeana Taylor’s garage, just minutes from Allegiant’s Summerlin headquarters. Taylor works in entertainment as a performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Ka. The day after she was furloughed from her job, she created a Vegas Community Pantry Facebook page to get the word out to those in need.
Taylor is quick to give credit to her friends and co-founders who operate two additional pantries out of their Las Vegas Valley garages. People have come together in a meaningful way to impact the lives of complete strangers, she said. That has given her hope for the future.
“There are so many people falling through the cracks,” Taylor said. “This pantry is supposed to help them while they get on their feet. Without the people who donate items to us or volunteer to deliver these packages to the people in need, this would all be meaningless.”