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Our Response to Covid-19

In November of 2008, we started this business because we felt that the food system was broken. We had no idea what we were in for in 2020. In March of this year, the world changed. COVID-19 has upended everything we know to be true. Soupergirl was thrown – shaken to the core. Once we regained our footing, we knew it was time to help. Being labeled “essential” took on a deep meaning for us.

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The first thing we set up was a hospital donation pack. In the spring and summer of 2020, joined together with our customers to deliver thousands of units of soups and salads to front-line medical staff all over the Washington, DC area. Each week, we deliver food to: Sibley Memorial Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and more. We then extended the program to include organizations working with neighbors experiencing food insecurity. We’re currently working with Francis on the Hill (working to assist our neighbors in need in Columbia Heights) as well as Yad Yehuda (an organization providing food assistance to our kosher neighbors in need) and DC Food Project (providing food to students and their families). The need will only grow, and we plan to step up and help. If you’d like to join the effort, please consider adding a donation with your soup order.

We next reached out to some of our local farmers. Many experienced a huge drop in sales because farmers markets drastically reduced their hours and availability. Also, many local farmers worked with local restaurants. That business disappeared overnight. In April we launched our Spring Valley Market Box delivery program. We now deliver hundreds of boxes of produce from one of our favorite local farms to neighbors all over the Washington DC metropolitan area.

While jumping into action to help our neighbors, we also made sure to put our team’s safety first.

We’ve setting up weekly COVID-19 testing for our entire company. We’ve contracted with a local disease specialist who comes to our facilities each week to test every team member. This data enables us to stop an outbreak before it starts. Our ability to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers has been absolutely essential in our quest to keep every Soupergirl member healthy and safe.

We set up insurance for all of our team members. We are proud to offer a fully subsidizied insurance program for all team members. The CEO and prep-team all under the same insurance policy. If anyone on our team gets sick – with Covid-19 or any other illness, they now have comprehensive health coverage.

Additional safety measures:

Kitchen Team:
– All kitchen staff have face shields and N-95 masks. We also have provided standard masks and thermometers for team members and their families to use at home.
– Temperatures are taken at the start of each shift.
– All surfaces are sanitized hourly.
– Our crews have broken down into smaller teams with separate shifts to aid in social distancing.
– Upon arrival, our teams change into kitchen uniforms that are washed in our own facility.

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Local Delivery Team:
– Temperatures are taken at the start of every shift.
– Each driver is provided with masks, wipes, gloves, and a personal bottle of hand sanitizer for their car.
– Drivers sanitize their cars at the start of each shift.
– Start times are staggered to assist with social distancing.

Additionally, we’re working with our landlords and building managers to clean and hopefully upgrade our HVAC systems to ensure proper air flow. We’ve hired a researcher to assist with the development of a full manual regarding COVID-19 safety.

Because we have remained in business during the different phases of this pandemic, the responsibility of keeping our team safe weighs heavily on us. While others have been sheltering at home, we’ve asked our crew to leave their homes, cook, deliver, and keep our company running. It is with this priority of safety in mind that locally, we have decided to keep our doors closed and offer only delivery and curbside pick up. We do not yet feel comfortable opening up our Washington, DC location to outside visitors.

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