COVID-19 changed that, of course. The food couldn’t be homemade. Each meal had to be individually packaged. And the moms had to deliver it and leave, without staying to eat with the teams.
“It hasn’t been the same,” Fisher says. “We miss the kids. But they still need to eat so we’re still doing it.”
The players, frankly, weren’t counting on it. They didn’t think the Metro moms would make it through the first season, much less the next four years. They’d get tired of doing it. They’d get bored.
“But no. They kept coming back again and again,” said Malachi Knighton, a senior football player at McLain High School of Science and Technology, 6 miles north of downtown in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Tulsa. Metro Christian Academy, one of Tulsa’s best-known private schools, sits a little more than 6 miles south of downtown.
It’s a world apart economically, Knighton said.
“They know our parents can’t afford to bring the food for us, so they bring it,” he said. “What they do is amazing and it really is greatly appreciated.”
The Metro moms spend $150 to $200 per pre-game meal, with 10 to 12 meals per sport, per season. All of which adds up to several thousand dollars a year.
Not able to sustain the financial burden alone, the Metro moms started a nonprofit group called This Is Us to begin taking donations in late 2019. And they’re hoping to expand soon to Hale High School and maybe other disadvantaged campuses around Tulsa, if enough moms volunteer.