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Textron Aviation designs plane as part of national effort to provide meals for people in need

The orange King Air 350i is part of the Wheels Up Cares program and Meals Up initiative, created in March to help support the growing levels of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The orange King Air 350i is part of the Wheels Up Cares program and Meals Up initiative, created in March to help support the growing levels of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.(Wheels Up)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 4:45 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita’s Textron Aviation is playing a key role in a national effort to provide meals for people in need. On Monday, Wheels Up, “the leading brand in private aviation,” unveiled its first-ever orange Beechcraft King Air 350i. Textron Aviation designed and painted the plane that will serve as “a flying symbol to raise awareness for food insecurity,” a news release on Textron’s involvement said.

The orange King Air 350i is part of the Wheels Up Cares program and Meals Up initiative, created in March to help support the growing levels of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Monday’s news release said the program “has already raised and inspired (more than) 47 million meals,” with the effort continuing to meet a greater need.

“We kicked off the Meals Up initiative back in March with one purpose – to help feed people – and we knew then that the next Wheels Up Cares plane would be orange in support of fighting food insecurity and to raise awareness for Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. “We are grateful to (Textron Aviation President and CEO) Ron Draper and Textron Aviation for once again donating the design and livery of the Orange Plane to shine a light on this important cause. We are excited that Textron Aviation has joined the Meals Up movement and we are energized by their generous donation of 500,000 meals.”

On behalf of Textron, Draper touched on the importance of partnerships like this with businesses helping programs that can make an impact across the nation.

“Textron Aviation is honored to be partnering with Kenny Dichter and Wheels Up, once again, in their Wheels Up Cares initiative,” Draper said. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we come together to support the many people affected by this pandemic. In addition to the donation of the paint to the aircraft, we are proud to be providing a monetary gift to the Meals Up effort, which will provide more than 500,000 meals to feed members of our communities across the nation.”

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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