Work from home, practice social distancing, wear masks when out. Ways of life that we have become all too familiar with. Only necessary businesses are allowed to keep their doors open, which means many have lost their jobs and employers are struggling to keep their companies from going under.
The same is the case for SuperFd, a sports performance and nutrition company that is responsible for providing daily service meals to the Capitals and Spirit and in-flight nutrition for the Wizards and Nationals.
One of their founding partners and executive chef Robert Wood had to find a way to adapt.
“Everything basically disappeared overnight, everything changed overnight, like a lot of Americans felt we had to wake up in the morning and figure out our new way forward until things get back to normal,” he said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.
Typically, Wood’s days are spent in the kitchen, but with teams not traveling and sports canceled there was no one to feed. Yet, he knew the demand for quality food would still exist. It was a matter of finding creative ways to serve his clients. “We overnight had to launch a home delivery service,” he said. “It was a fun challenge.”
But one he says that didn’t come without a lot of the frustration and anxiety along the way.
“Now we do direct-to-home delivery through our website and we have the opportunity to create custom meals for our athletes and our corporate clients that don’t necessarily need the specifics that our athletes do,” he said.
This is a sports station, so I had to ask -- what are the athletes eating during the lockdown?
He pointed to Caps’ forward Tom Wilson’s diet needs. “Tommy needs a high carb and a high protein intake on a daily basis, to make sure he is staying in the shape he needs to play hockey,” he said. “Whereas a normal office people or those going about their everyday life don’t need the amount and carbs that Tom does.”
SuperFd has also found a more meaningful cause than just feeding its regular clients: Helping first responders.
And they’re able to do it because of the help and generosity of their athletes and local clientele like Ryan Zimmerman.
Zimmerman and his wife, Heather, saw a need at Inova Fairfax Hospital where a friend of theirs is a doctor. They donated some meals over Easter weekend and the reaction was so overwhelming, they founded “Pro’s for Heroes.
Then, Zimmerman started calling some local DC athlete friends to help. Alex Ovechkin, John Wall, and Max Scherzer were just a few to answer the call. A Go Fund Me page is up with the goal of raising $500,000.
And that’s just the beginning.
Wood says the support has come from all over.
“We got an immediate response from [Caps’ player] Garnet Hathaway. He wanted to deliver the same quality of meals he knows we provide to first responders, and through his non-profit ‘Haps Heroes’ so we started that push.”
Ted Leonsis and Monumental Network was also quick to the call of action immediately creating, “Feeding the Frontlines”.
In one week they will provide over 4,000 meals, 500 a day to a hospital on weekends.
“I feel like firefighters and hockey players aren’t that different when it comes to the end of the day," Wood said. "They want something that is going to fill them up and going to make them enjoy eating it."
That means a lot of pasta and chicken and beef dishes that offer plenty of flavor.
“Some fun with the flavors, but deliver something they are comfortable with and don’t have to question eating it. They can just crush it.”
For those of you that are looking for a job and wanting to help with deliveries … well, that job is not currently available. “Not just anyone gets to deliver to the Tom Wilsons and Ryan Zimmermans.
“That is the thumb war,” Wood said, “[to decide] who gets to take those deliveries.”
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