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Sleep Train meals have Golden 1 touch
By Tessa Marguerite Outland
If coronavirus patients arrive at the Alternate Care Facility in Sleep Train Arena, they won’t have to settle for traditional hospital food. Meals at the old arena—leased by the Kings to the state for $500,000 a month—are provided by Legends Hospitality, the NBA team’s food vendor.
No patients were admitted to the arena field hospital during its first month of operation, state officials say. But about 300 staff are standing by in case the COVID-19 pandemic creates a patient surge that overwhelms regional hospitals. Those nurses and doctors still have to eat, and Legends is serving the meals.
The food vendor declined to say who was paying for the meals. This presumably means it’s California taxpayers and not the Kings. Some food is being donated by producers.
Legends is responsible for Golden 1 Center’s food services. The company partners with the Kings to buy from local farmers, reflecting Sacramento’s farm-to-fork reputation. In March, after basketball games were halted, Legends and the Kings donated approximately 5,000 pounds of produce and prepared food to the Sacramento Food Bank and Sacramento County Office of Education.
For the work at Sleep Train, Legends prepares the food Downtown at Golden 1 Center and delivers it to a specified “clean zone” at the North Natomas facility.
With 90 percent of the ingredients sourced from within 150 miles, these meals will provide patients with fresh and nourishing foods, while also supporting regional farmers and food suppliers. Local suppliers include Diestel Family Ranch in Sonora, Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats in Woodland, Napa Nuts, Clover milk in Sonoma, Bella Bru Cafe & Catering in Sacramento and more. Grab-n-go sandwiches, salads, snacks, whole fruits and beverages are provided under the direction of executive chef Brien Kuznicki.
When Kuznicki reached out to Diestel Family Ranch for the Sleep Train project, the turkey farm decided to donate an additional 500 pounds of meat. “I think it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before and devastating to some families,” says Heidi Diestel, a fourth-generation farmer with Diestel Family Ranch. “If we can be a small part of that, it’s all we want to do.”
The Diestel ranch has donated to people impacted by the pandemic in their local community, plus some of their own team members. “It’s always our goal to provide the best quality product to our customers on any given day, pre-COVID-19,” Diestel says. “To be a farmer is a humbling experience and to continue to do this is kind of surreal in a way.”
Having immediate access to healthy food is vital in any situation, whether recovering from an illness, working long hours in a hospital or staying safe at home.
At the Sleep Train field hospital, patients and medical staff can be certain they will be provided with Sacramento’s own nourishing and high-quality food and medical treatment during this pandemic.
Tessa Marguerite Outland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.