Coronavirus Crisis Update: Chef Jose Andres “The Fuel That Moves Humanity is Food.”

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Chef Jose Andres sat down with us to reflect on his life, the organizations he has founded, and his unique, powerful vision for using food to transform communities, battle inequities, advance unity and strengthen economies. When he landed in America as a young man, “I became an American way before I became an American by a passport.” Two years later, at age 23, he chose Washington to be his home: it is the “place where things can happen.” He created relief organization World Central Kitchen to operate in “the limbo between emergency and reconstruction.” “People feel forgotten.” In response to Covid-19 in American and Spain, WCK has served over 36 million meals by partner restaurants converted to community kitchens across America. “We move very quickly.. it is in our DNA.” He has become increasingly convinced that “food is a national security issue” requiring a U.S. “Food Czar” next to the President, with “real power” and a “real budget.” “Hunger is something that cannot wait.” What’s next for 2021? Focus on revitalizing his businesses, the ThinkFoodGroup: “when it is safe.. bring the restaurants back..” Keep moving forward with WCK, changing our national conversation on food. Unity is the key: “I believe in lower walls and longer tables.”

Chef Jose Andres, based in Washington, D.C., is the renowned chef, founder and head of both the ThinkFoodGroup restaurant group and the rapid-response humanitarian organization, World Central Kitchen.