Miami Beach Convention Center's Food Recovery Efforts During COVID-19
As the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak impacted the events community, show organizers and catering companies found themselves with plenty of flowers, food and beverages, but no guests to enjoy them. At the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC), Centerplate, exclusive food and beverage provider, partnered with event organizers and a local nonprofit to provide immediate relief to those in need.
Due to unexpected event cancellations in early March, Centerplate had over 2,000 pounds of prepped food from the Zendesk Relate Conference and Miami City Ballet Gala. Centerplate at MBCC joined forces with event organizers in order to donate the extra food to Food Rescue US’ local site Food Rescue Miami. Food Rescue US is a platform that matches last-minute food donations with volunteers who then pick up and deliver the items to local charities or those facing food insecurity. (TSNN)
The 1,000-pound food rescue from the Miami City Ballet Gala featured 32 gallons of milk, 21 (64 oz) containers of yogurt, 12 wheels of brie cheese, 5 (32 lb.) buckets of diced potato, 26 containers of pizza cheese, 6 (40 lb.) cases of lettuce, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Zendesk offered an additional 1,000 lbs. of produce, bread, chips, snacks, sandwiches, pastries and mixed meats and cheeses. MBCC’s Centerplate Executive Director Steve Haas was proud to participate in the recovery effort.
While it was a disappointment to have the cancellation, Haas said the donation “let somebody benefit from this.” Under the circumstances, he said, he understood the reason and hopes the Convention Center will host a rescheduled gala in the fall.
“Centerplate works with Food Rescue on a regular basis as there’s often food left over from the larger events,” Haas said. “I’m thrilled when we can do this [and] take care of people who need it.” (RE:MiamiBeach)
Centerplate at MBCC commits to overall food sustainability by leveraging every opportunity to reduce food waste, sourcing fresh produce, ingredients, meats and seafood from local farms and organizations to providing eco-friendly cutlery and dishware at their concessions.