Airport Fast Park, an offsite airport parking company, launched a food drive this month in its 12 national markets, including Memphis, to help stock shelves at local food banks.

Travelers who park at the Memphis facility, 2201 Winchester, are asked to bring nonperishable food items. They will receive $1 off per item donated with a maximum discount of $3 per stay at the facility. The final day of the drive is Friday.

The Memphis food donations will benefit The Food Bank, whose cupboards are nearly bare.

"It is dire. If you could see our shelves, you would be shocked," said Susan Sanford, president and chief executive officer of The Food Bank.

Derek Stanley, a manager at Airport Fast Park on Winchester, said the response so far has not been overwhelming, but donations are coming in. "We are reaching the people," Stanley said.

Melanie Chavez, chief marketing officer at Airport Fast Park, headquartered in Cincinnati, said that in some of Airport Fast Park's older markets, response has been better.

"In some of our existing markets, we've gotten upwards of 500 or more cans," said Chavez, who added that Airport Fast Park plans to make the drive an annual event.

"We plan to have them year after year so that our base knows about it and we can pick up momentum."

Sanford said there are a number of different food drives going on in the Mid-South now to benefit The Food Bank, and she expects the Airport Fast Park one to be a success.

"Our community is so generous," she said. For businesses, Sanford said food drives are a simple way to give back to the community and usually create the best response when a gift or discount is included.

The Food Bank also accepts monetary donations, which can be used to buy food in bulk. More information can be found at