Jose Andres Says His Work in Puerto Rico Is Far from Done
Ever since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico this past September, Jose Andres and his charitable organization World Central Kitchen have been a major component of the American territory’s relief effort. Beyond serving over a million meals to those on the island and rallying support from other big names, Andres has also been extremely vocal about maintaining awareness that the area still has a long way to go until its back on its feet. Even when the chef announced his team would be scaling back some of their efforts in Puerto Rico, he promised he was doing it for the right reasons, suggesting that “mass producing and distributing free food … could swamp an emerging economy in these fragile, early stages of recovery.” But just because the strategy has changed, Andres wants people to know the work is nowhere near done, and World Central Kitchen will be continuing to give out meals in parts of the island likely until at least Christmas.
Andres mentioned the Christmas timeline in a video posted to his Twitter account early this morning. Speaking from a kitchen in Ponce, the chef said the plan was to try to continue to get meals to the “often forgotten center of the island, Adjuntas, etc” until “Christmas time.”
That video from the World Central Kitchen outpost in Ponce is only one of a number of clips Andres has posted to social media recently, updating people on the progress taking place in Puerto Rico. In a video from the day before, he “stopped for lunch along the road in Piñones” and used the reopened restaurant and its big line of people as an example that life is coming back to normal.
However, hammering home his point that work is still left to be done, on Saturday, he posted a video from outside of an elderly home in Humacao where he said “electricity comes and goes,” with residents relying on a generator that occasional breaks down – a major problem when, as Andres explains, the kitchens are all electric. “The problem is real,” he says towards the end of the short clip. But luckily for residents of Puerto Rico, the solution is ongoing.