Now that the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food intended to feed Team USA athletes to the Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs, Colo. The food is valued between $115,000 and $125,000, according to reports.
“These are incredibly difficult times for everyone,” Rick Adams, the USOPC’s chief of sport performance and national governing body services, said on Team USA’s website. “Our CEO, Sarah Hirshland, is someone who’s always thinking about others and in this case when she became aware that we had this large volume of food, she wanted to make sure we did all we could for the people in Colorado Springs who need it.”
“They, thankfully, made a delightful phone call for us to receive and said, ‘Hey, we have some food. Would you like it?’ And we said, ‘Of course,’” Shannon Brice, chief operating officer of Care and Share, told KKTV.com in Colorado Springs. “As this continues to happen and we continue to deal with this pandemic, that support of our organization in the long-haul is going to be massively critical for us to meet the need.”
Colorado Springs is home the USOPC’s headquarters, as well as hundreds of athletes and support staff at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center and several NGBs.
“We’re confident [the food] is getting it into the hands of people who need it right now,” Adams said. “Unfortunately the product isn’t on its way to Tokyo, but there are more important things going on and we wanted to do our small part to help.”
Team USA isn’t the only team doing its part to feed those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. According to Eater D.C., the Washington Nationals have teamed up with chef José Andrés’ global nonprofit to utilize empty Nationals Park to cook and distribute thousands of free meals to residents.
Spearheaded by World Central Kitchen and the team’s newly established charity arm, National Philanthropies, the operation includes two large kitchens at the stadium used to prepare hot meals that will be delivered to communities by Uber Eats drivers.
“We are stewards of this public building. It’s not used to play baseball now, so how can we use it in the best way possible?” Jonathan Stahl, vice president of experience and hospitality for the Nationals, told Eater D.C. “Partnering with WCK was a no-brainer. Our operations here are consolidated. We have very large kitchens and a lot of firepower where we can produce a lot of food quickly and efficiently.”