Even in health emergencies and natural disasters, there can be silver linings. After the general public was barred from watching a major sporting event in Columbus, Ohio, because of fears of coronavirus (COVID-19), a satisfying meal appeared for more than 2,000 first responders in tornado-stricken Tennessee.
Worry over COVID-19 caused Ohio Department of Health to ban the expected 200,000 spectators to Arnold Sports Festival—an annual multi-sport event consisting of professional bodybuilding, strongman, fitness and other competitions that began in 1989 and is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger. More than 18,000 athletes from 80 nations were expected to compete Mar. 5-8.
That left Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) with a whole bunch of food and nobody to eat it. So, knowing that many Columbus restaurants would be donating to Columbus-area charities, GCCC decided to look elsewhere.
A refrigerated truck filled with chicken- and egg-salad sandwiches, green salad, fresh fruit, yogurt, vegetables, brown rice, potato chips and bottled water—more than a ton of food in all—headed for Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, where the hungry relief workers were waiting.
Three chefs from Levy, GCCC’s food service provider, accompanied the truck to unload, prepare and serve the meal.
“We’re accustomed to accommodating ever-changing client needs at GCCC,” said John R. Page, general manager of the award-winning facility. “We were proud to be able to send excess food to assist Nashville residents impacted by true devastation.”