PlaneSense, a fractional aircraft company based in Portsmouth, N.H., filled a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft with more than 800 pounds of food for the New Hampshire Food Bank.
The food was flown to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Wednesday, Dec. 17, where New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas greeted the aircraft full of food.
NH Food Bank executives and members of its advisory board were also on hand at Signature Aviation to gather the food for distribution. Hassan, Gatsas, and PlaneSense, President and CEO George Antoniadis (who piloted the plane) helped to load the NH Food Bank vehicle with the non-perishables.
“PlaneSense has always been a strong supporter of our local and state charities, and we chose to assist the NH Food Bank this year because it reaches so many families in need,” Antoniadis said. “I am pleased to be joined today by my friends, the governor of New Hampshire Maggie Hassan, and the Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas. I’m very proud of my PlaneSense team for our contribution today.”
The majority of the food was provided by PlaneSense employees and their families, along with a donation from Nextant Aerospace.
According to Mel Gosselin, the executive director of the NH Food Bank, the food will be brought back to the Manchester, N.H., facility and sorted into categories. It will then be placed into the NH Food Bank’s online ordering system, which is accessed by a network of 400 agencies across the state, and later dispersed to help feed more than 130,000 residents.
“I’m told between 700 and 800 pounds of food [was collected], which is almost 700 to 800 meals for children and families around the State of New Hampshire,” Hassan said. “At the holidays we like to remind each other what we can do when we come together to make life better for our friends and neighbors.”
Gatsas reflected on last year’s event, in which PlaneSense employees collected gifts for the Toys for Tots organization. The toys were also flown to Manchester, and then delivered to Marines for distribution.
“Last year was a great success and we took lots of toys off the plane, this year the plane was filled with non-perishable food for the NH Food Bank,” Gatsas said. “Thank you so much for coming to Manchester for the past two years and giving back to the residents in our community, I am looking forward to next year!”