One of the common features of any significant human crisis—hurricanes, earthquakes, war—is the overarching feeling of helplessness…of not knowing what you can do to actually make a difference. In the case of the current coronavirus global pandemic, it is particularly paralyzing, as so many of us are dealing with our own personal crises (lost jobs, health worries, sick relatives) within the larger one.
But faced with an almost complete loss of business, Brendon Beck and Derek Orrell of Beck and Call Catering (located in Brooklyn and LA) spontaneously found themselves face-to-face with their new calling—and were soon raising money for #FEEDTHOSEWHOAREFIGHTING, with the goal of supplying fresh, healthy meals to exhausted healthcare workers on the frontline of fighting the deadly pandemic.
We asked Founder + President Beck to take a quick break from the mission, to explain just how vital their work now is…and how you can support them to keep it all going.
Catering a Crisis
As I sit down to write this, I am waiting for a call from the former NHL player Sean Avery—my teammate-to-be in an upcoming hamburger competition with Uber Eats. In the midst of this crisis I find myself coming back to a dream that died fifteen years ago. Growing up I was on track to play in the NHL, before a string of injuries ended my career at 18. I then worked as a model, a bartender, and a cater waiter before meeting Derek, the co-owner and executive chef of my current company, Beck & Call Catering, based in Williamsburg. Our first few years were a rollercoaster, but things were looking up before we got blindsided by the coronavirus.
Derek and I scrambled to create a delivery business, but it turns out starting a company in the middle of a global pandemic isn’t easy. When we heard hospital cafeterias couldn’t keep up with demand, we took a kitchen full of food supplies for delivery orders that were never going to come, and made 100 sandwiches to donate to Woodhull Hospital. The staff that received us was so grateful, so sincere, and so worn out, that it wasn’t really a question of what we would do.
We started a #FEEDTHOSEWHOAREFIGHTING GoFundMe the next day, to feed hospital workers and first responders—as well as to support local businesses, keep our doors open and our employees paid. The last two months have been a tired blur, but they have been some of the most rewarding of my life. The feedback and support we have received from the community has gone beyond our wildest expectations. A few notable friends, including singers Chesca and Daley, and models Sean O’Pry, Chad White, Janette Ewen, and Jamie Jewitt, have all helped us spread the word.
Now thru Uber Eats reaching out to support, Sean Avery is going to be my teammate in a burger competition. I still wish I could have played with him in the NHL, but this is about as close to professional sports stardom as an owner of an independent catering company gets; and, as strange as it is to write, it feels good.
Please donate now at the #FEEDTHOSEWHOAREFIGHTING GoFundMe.