As President Donald Trump continues to ignore the crisis in Puerto Rico, chefs are stepping up to help the ravaged island.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, celebrity chef Jose Andrés has been working in conjunction with local Puerto Rican chefs to deliver thousands of meals to residents that are in need of support.
Andrés and his team at the World Central Kitchen (WCK) have coordinated a huge network of food service workers and volunteer chefs with the goal of serving 50,000 meals per day. As of last week, Andrés and his multitude of helpers, according to TODAY Food, have already prepared over 130,000 meals in areas including Ponce, Cataño, and San Juan.
They have been preparing meals in food trucks and borrowed kitchens on the island. After the storm hit, many residents of the U.S. territory were, and still are, without food, electricity, and clean water. While Andrés and his crew have been hard at work making sandwiches, and dishes, like paella, the chef admitted that they have hit some snags along the way.
“Today’s a hard day,” Andrés stated in a video he posted to his Twitter account last month. “We’ve been getting deliveries, but we’ve been missing a few things. When we have bread, we don’t have cheese. ... But more or less, things keep falling into place.”
Corporate sponsors, such as Goya, have been kicking in with donations of juice, yucca, and rice, as well as other foods, and Kraft has donated the deli meat for sandwiches.
According to The Washington Post, Andrés has linked up with chef Jose Enrique, who has turned his own restaurant, located in San Juan, into one of the headquarters for the entire operation.
Andrés organized this call to action because of Trump's lack of compassion and aid to the island, which is home to over 3.7 million Americans.
Andrés, who in February made headlines after wearing a shirt that read "I am an immigrant" at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, tweeted out some advice to the president regarding a relief strategy for Puerto Rico.
He also had this to say directly to Trump:
In an interview with the Post, Andrés said he wants to expand his efforts to the island of Vieques, which, according to PEOPLE, will likely not receive any aid until Puerto Rico does, and in the aftermath of Maria is completely devastated.
Even if Andrés isn’t able to reach everyone affected by the storm, his presence on social media is playing a major part in raising awareness about the needs of the island — and people are noticing.
One user tweeted:
Super chef, now super hero!— Michael Ferrara (@mferrara23) September 28, 2017
And that he is. According to Andrés' Twitter page, he will be in Culebra and on the island of Vieques to feed the people. Now that's a man of his word.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Lucas Jackson