“[N]o person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed the children,” the chef said in a video tweet from Puerto Rico.
As the government shutdown continues (and becomes the longest in U.S. history), José Andrés is ramping up his efforts to feed federal workers and their families. In a video tweet from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he attended the Plow to Plate forum, Andrés announced that World Central Kitchen is opening a kitchen at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. to feed some of the 800,000 people who are currently without income.
"As you know, World Central Kitchen is always there to respond to any disaster to make sure that Americans and people around the world will not go one day without a plate of food," Andrés said. "And today we face another type of disaster, emergency, in the United States. More than 800,000 federal workers are without a job. Many millions of Americans are going to go through hard times. And we believe that no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed the children."
The new kitchen will be "open for any federal family that needs food," Andrés said, with meals to eat there or take home. According to WCK's Twitter account, details on the kitchen's location (and volunteer opportunities) will be available soon.
"I hope it will be a call to action to our senators and congressmen and especially President Trump to make sure that we end this history of America where families are about to go hungry," said the chef. "We should always come together as 'we the people,' as Americans, bipartisan, Republicans and Democrats, all Americans. World Central Kitchen will be there for all Americans."
Since the shutdown began on December 22, the Jaleo chef took decisive action in making sure that all of his restaurants would offer free food to furloughed federal employees, with many other restaurants around the country following suit. Just this past friday, chef Ed Lee cooked lunch for TSA employees, who are working without pay, at Louisville International Airport.
"It is unfair that they are the ones who have to sacrifice their paychecks during this gov't shutdown," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Meanwhile, they show up for work without complaint and continue to do a vital job in our city. Making lunch for these unsung heroes was a small gesture of thanks to say that we appreciate your service."