Thousands of Meals for Ohio Sports Festival Sent to Nashville Tornado First Responders

Emergency crews work near a damaged business at Jefferson St. and Seventh Ave. N. on March 3, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. A tornado passed through Nashville just after midnight leaving a wake of damage in its path. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Officials shut down the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, this year to general spectators due to coronavirus fears, leaving the festival with a lot of food but no one to eat it.

The change in attendance left the festival with enough food to feed at least 200,000 people, the typical amount of attendees. Still, instead of throwing the food away, the organizers of the festival found a better use for the food— sending the food to those affected by the tornadoes in Nashville.

“We wanted something positive to happen to the food that could not be repurposed,” said Molly Dale, general manager for Levy, the Greater Columbus Convention Center’s food service provider, in a statement.

A refrigerated truck carrying the food will leave the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday and is slated to arrive at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville—where the Tennessee Titans play— on Saturday.

The plan is for the food to be ready in time to feed first responders and others by Saturday evening.

The donated food includes chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches, a mixed green salad, yogurt, fruit, yogurt, brown rice, a vegetable medley, potato chips, and bottled water.

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