After Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, José Andrés swooped in to help with the damage, feeding over 3.6 million people — and now he’s doing the same thing in wake of Hurricane Florence.
The Spanish-American chef’s organization, World Central Kitchen, is a coalition of generous cooks and volunteers who want to help make a difference in the world. They combine their love for food with their desire to serve, and go where they are needed.
The World Central Kitchen team landed in North Carolina a week ago, even before the storm wreaked havoc on the state’s coastal towns. Andrés, along with his team, prepped for the storm, knowing that there would be many without food following the natural disaster.
So far the organization has set up kitchens in Raleigh and Wilmington, two cities that were hit hard by the hurricane. Since their arrival, World Central Kitchen has helped deliver 140,000 meals to people and families all over the state.
“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.
Andrés said that he desires to bring more than just meals to the people of North Carolina, but hope as well.
“Even though there is still a lot of flooding, I believe yesterday was more dangerous than today. I’m just glad the storm is finally over and people can start getting their lives back to normal,” he said.
On Tuesday, Andrés tweeted that I-40, which links Raleigh and Wilmington, reopened in North Carolina, allowing grocery stores to re-stock items, and restaurants to open again.
“We will begin winding down our
@WCKitchen in Wilmington and focus on Lumberton and other areas still flooded… #ChefsForCarolinas,” Andrés tweeted.
Things improving in North Carolina! I-40 now open between Raleigh and Wilmington so grocery stores are filling up and restaurants opening! We will begin winding down our @WCKitchen in Wilmington and focus on Lumberton and other areas still flooded… #ChefsForCarolinas pic.twitter.com/JCVp8NqrcH
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 25, 2018
In a separate tweet, the chef shared a photo of himself with a group of children in a North Carolina shelter:
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 20, 2018
“If anybody wants to know what’s the reason
@WCKitchen #ChefsForCarolinas does what we do? This kids are the reason!” he wrote.