Team San Jose – once the marketing giant for the city and the managing force behind its conventions – has pivoted its in-house catering to provide meals to shelters housing people impacted by COVID-19.
The city of San Jose converted Parkside Hall and South Hall, both part of the McEnery Convention Center which is operated by Team San Jose, into homeless shelters on March 31. Team San Jose is now managing the food, sanitation and other operations for the shelters. The shift come after Team San Jose was forced to lay off a staggering 1,304 employees as a result of a sudden decline in convention business as major events and conferences got canceled because of the pandemic.
But the agency is using its remaining resources to help the city it calls home.
“Just like if you were having a convention or some other event, we work with the organizers to make sure everything is managed,” Frances Wong, the director of marketing and communications for Team San Jose.
Since March 31, Team San Jose has provided three restaurant-quality meals per day to residents in the shelters with ingredients sourced or donated from local vendors and farmers.
The city authorized Team San Jose to make and transport meals to 14 other locations since March, including hotels rented by the county for frontline workers or other vulnerable populations. They are expected to have delivered more than 90,000 meals.