Celebrity chef José Andrés, who runs a humanitarian relief nonprofit called World Central Kitchen, has dished up over 500,000 meals on three islands in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Chef Andrés started the organization to help Haiti after their devastating earthquake in 2010. Since then, they’ve donated meals in other areas hit hard by natural disasters.
Andrés and his team began setting up before Dorian made landfall at the Abaco Islands on September 1 as a category 5 hurricane. The hurricane had incredible maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.
They waited out the massive storm so they could immediately serve in the aftermath.
Grand Bahama Island saw the hurricane, still a category 5, the next day, where it stalled over the island before heading to Florida on September 3. Dorian is the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Bahamas—the damage is caused was estimated at over $7 billion and at least 50 people died, with an additional 1,300 still missing.
Andrés tweeted about their efforts there and kept followers informed of the situation with videos. He met with Bahamian officials, aid groups, other chefs and tourism companies with yachts, cruise ships and helicopters—anyone else who could help—all while he coordinated three kitchens, each on different islands, to keep the food moving.
Tens of thousands of hot meals, fruit and sandwiches were served daily. There were even vegan and gluten free options. Every day of the effort, boats and helicopters arrived with hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh supplies. He was determined that not a single person there would go hungry or thirsty.
It’s important to remember that there was no electricity, so they also handed out solar lamps that could charge cell phones—many to families who were living in cars.
There didn’t seem to be a problem he and his team wouldn’t tackle.
Then, there were also Florida and the Carolinas to look after.
Anywhere there is a humanitarian crisis, World Central Kitchens is there, building kitchens, serving meals, talking to locals and always helping. From Puerto Rico to Guatemala, Tijuana to the Bahamas, you’ll find Andrés on the ground, surveying the situation and setting up his kitchens.
He has multitudes to feed.