Chef José Andrés Feeds the World Through the Pandemic.

When COVID-19 was discovered among the 2,400 passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship as it set sail from Hawaii, José Andrés hopped on a flight from Newark, N.J. at 6:30 A.M. to San Francisco.

Andrés’ charity, World Central Kitchen, stands up field kitchens to feed thousands of people fresh, nourishing, often hot meals as soon as possible at the scene of disasters. COVID-19 hasn’t been limited to any one country. As it rolls across the world, and people need money to eat, World Central Kitchen is already distributing meals in low-income neighborhoods in big cities like New York, and monitoring the globe for food shortages elsewhere.

At the port of Oakland, where the Grand Princess finally docked, Andrés’ team made its own statement. Setting up a tent at the side of the ship, it forklifted fresh meals not only for the quarantined passengers but also for the crew.

The organization has launched feeding missions in 13 countries, serving some 15 million meals and engaging more than 45,000 volunteers.

On March 15, as states ordered public spaces closed, Andrés announced the conversion of five of his D.C.-area restaurants, and his outlet in New York City, into community kitchens. As of March 25, World Central Kitchen has worked with partners to coordinate delivery, via 160 distribution points, of more than 150,000 safe, packaged fresh meals for families in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; Oakland; New Orleans; Los Angeles; Miami; Boston; and Madrid.

Chef José Andrés is a larger than life hero!