San Diego Convention Center GM Bobby Ramirez and Chef Sufi Karaien and staff members keep their social distance while preparing meals for the homeless.
James Beard Award–winning chef and restaurateur David Burke is usually leading his catering team in the creation of white-tablecloth experiences for corporate events. Today, a small Burke-led crew is instead making sandwiches and wraps by the hundreds for a different clientele: health-care workers. Sandwiches for this group are a must, he told Convene recently, because health-care workers “don’t have time to sit down.”
From feeding workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, to ensuring food from canceled events is going to the hungry instead of to landfills, here’s a sampling of how people and organizations from all corners of the business events industry are pivoting to help amid the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Centerplate team at the San Diego Convention Center, led by General Manager Bobby Ramirez, has prepared and served more than 140,000 meals for the homeless since early April through a collaborative San Diego regional effort dubbed Operation Shelter to Home. The Centerplate team has made use of some donated items, along with products from other Centerplate sites that could no longer use their inventory due to COVID-19-related closures.