September 2023

Rapid City Regional Airport's "Empty Pockets = Full Plates" program generates funds to feed the community.

The Rapid City Regional Airport reported receiving nearly $3,000 in spare change over the past year through its “Empty Pockets – Full Plates” program.  The spare change was donated by generous customers at the airport's TSA security checkpoint. Before proceeding through security screening, passengers must remove all items from their pockets, including loose change. Many travelers donate their spare coins instead of carrying them in their bags through the screening process. This act of kindness has enabled the airport staff and other volunteers to support the community beyond the airport premises.

After receiving the donations, volunteers give their time and effort to prepare and serve meals at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

"A small, meaningful gesture can have an impact on our

community," said Toni Broom, Airport Deputy Director of Finance. "I truly enjoy serving meals to members of our community, and we are thankful for the contributions from travelers that allow us to provide this service."

Lysa Allison, Cornerstone Rescue Mission Executive Director

added, “Giving change is more than dropping coins into a box. Those coins provide meals to the most vulnerable in our community. Those coins, donated by the community, used by Rapid City Regional Airport staff along with their time,

create love, compassion and full bellies.”

Airport spare change program assists with feeding the community

Airport staff started the program in 2017 after learning about the large amount of change being left at checkpoints nationwide.  Since that time, thousands of dollars and countless hours have been donated to the Cornerstone