With a global crisis at hand, even the world’s most prepared businesses couldn’t anticipate the ramifications brought by the spread of COVID-19. Left with countless questions and very few answers, one thing will always remain true for our team at STAPLES Center: nothing is more important than supporting our community in the Levy Cares way.
Shortly after 6:30 pm on March 11th, shock waves were sent through our world here at STAPLES Center. The NBA announced all games were to be postponed indefinitely after a member of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus, and the NHL was planning to decide the morning of March 12th.
For STAPLES Center, the month of March represented a 22–day event stretch, with double and triple headers, a potential playoff matchup preview (Lakers v. Rockets, 3/12), and the NCAA Regional Tournament. In the world of sports and entertainment, the ensuing 24 hours would be pivotal to the questions, “who next and what now?” An emergency department head meeting was called to begin the process of the “winterization” of the building – where all food, beverage and equipment would be safely and securely stored as further news developed.
Around mid-morning on Thursday the 12th, the NHL officially announced that it too would be suspending the season to avoid the further spread of COVID-19. The NCAA had also made the choice to not carry on a few hours after the cancellation, and we proceeded to see concerts and events postponing and canceling for the months ahead. It was official, no events would be held at STAPLES Center for the foreseeable future. A building with the capacity of 20,000 people was now left with thousands of pounds of unused food.
For the past 20 years, since its arrival, STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles community have supported one another and everything it stands for. This would be no different.
Immediately, we contacted our longtime partners of the Midnight Mission and new partner LA Mission, who combined produce on average 3500+ meals each day. With over 7,000 pounds of food to be split between the organizations, our managers had to swiftly jump into action to coordinate a donation of this magnitude. We would be providing 15,000+ meals for the community of Los Angeles!
For the better part of Thursday and into early Friday morning, 15 managers from our Culinary, Retail, Operations, and Warehouse teams worked tirelessly to gather all items, and deliver them that same afternoon. Gathering items such as a variety of dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, grab & go, and prepared meals from our Premium Dining areas, our team successfully built 12 pallets of food with 200 dozen packets of assorted bread ready for delivery.
Every attention to detail and the care our team showed throughout this project did not go unnoticed. LA Mission & Midnight Mission expressed how, “Over the moon!” they felt with our donations as times are uncertain now more than ever. They expressed admiration for not only the quality of products but also our Chef’s team showing up personally to deliver items to their chefs. The saying “It takes a village!” has reigned truer than ever throughout this entire process!
This entire pandemic has really been a test of our community’s fortitude. It’s clear to us how important it is that our community of Los Angeles knows we will stand with them in the face of any crisis.
A HUGE THANK YOU and an endless amount of gratitude is owed to everyone who helped to make this possible! We are STAPLES Center. We are Los Angeles. We are Levy.