José Andrés knows what to do in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The chef, along with his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, is currently on the ground in the Carolinas cooking meals for those who have been displaced or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Florence.
The storm caused record rainfall in the area last week, and more than 400,000 residents of the Carolinas still do not have electricity. Per tweets from Andrés, World Central Kitchen apparently has at least two kitchens set up in North Carolina – one in the capital city of Raleigh and another in Wilmington.
According to a tweet from the Spanish-born chef written on Monday, September 17, he and his WCK team have already served thousands of meals to evacuated residents and first responders. “Thank you @fema @NC_Governor @NCEmergency for helping @WCKitchen us with transportation intelligence to keep feeding the many shelters around Wilmington and Raleigh!” he shared. “80k meals so far…thanks!”
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 17, 2018
While 80,000 meals might seem like a lot, Andrés and his team are far from done. Per the World Central Kitchen Twitter account, the organization is expected to serve an additional 10,000 meals on Tuesday, September 18, from the Wilmington kitchen alone.
And though it can be difficult to cook for that many people at one time, the meals being served to Hurricane Florence evacuees are healthy and delicious.
“Food not just for the body but also for the soul! Fresh salad, jalapeño mac & cheese, beef & potato stew, hot biscuits,” Andrés tweeted about Monday’s offerings. “@WCKitchen is showing it is possible to serve delicious & nutritious meals for tens of thousands for people in need each day!”
“We have delivered hot meals to 25 shelters so far across a number of counties, plus emergency operations centers, police departments, fire stations, National Guard, search and rescue teams, individual families and neighborhoods who don’t have access to food,” World Central Kitchen Executive Director Nate Mook told CNN.
With help from SWAT teams and the U.S. Army, which were enlisted by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Andrés’ team has been particularly impactful. “We are always happy when we have military structure command. Thanks to them we have been able to deliver meals to more than five counties,” Andrés told the outlet. “The governor helped us connect with the officials, and the officials are helping us connect to the people in need.”
Andrés established World Central Kitchen in 2010 in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Haiti, and the hunger relief group has since provided food to victims of other disasters, including the 2018 California wildfires, the volcanic eruption in Guatemala that occurred in June and 2017’s Hurricane Maria, which decimated Puerto Rico.
In fact, Andrés and his team ultimately served approximately 3.6 million meals to people on the island, and a book chronicling the humanitarian effort, called We Fed An Island, was published earlier this month on the late Anthony Bourdain’s Ecco imprint.
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