Stadiums across Major League Baseball are sitting dormant as the league works through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, the Washington Nationals are turning Nationals Park into a community kitchen to help those impacted by the health and economic toll of coronavirus. According to Eater D.C., the defending World Series champions — and their Nationals Philanthropies charity arm — have teamed up with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by chef José Andrés, to cook and distribute meals from the Washington, D.C. stadium.
“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, the Nationals’ vice president of experience and hospitality, said, according to Eater D.C.
The United States capital signed off on Nationals Park breaking its city-owned lease for events to use two kitchens to cook meals that are delivered by Uber Eats. The daily program, which gets food and packaging shipments from vendors like Sysco and Acme Paper, started with delivering 1,000 meals of chicken and broccoli stir-fry on Tuesday. World Central Kitchen, which had previously been prepping meals at its headquarters, plans to eventually up the number to tens of thousands of meals a day.
“Partnering with WCK was a no-brainer,” Stahl said. “Our operations here are consolidated — we have very large kitchens and a lot of fire power where we can produce a lot of food quickly and efficiently.”
The MLB has pushed back the start of its season until at least mid-May to follow safe-at-home orders.
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