Nearly three weeks after landing in Puerto Rico to support those affected by Hurricane Maria, Washington, D.C.-based chef José Andrés is feeding people in the most remote areas of the island. With his disaster relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen, Andrés has made it his mission to deliver sandwiches and hot meals to as many people as possible, and now, Andrés announced on Twitter, his team of chef partners and volunteers is capable of serving 97,000 meals per day.
Yesterday, #ChefsForPuertoRico served 2,000 people in Isabela on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, brought food and fresh fruit to the Enrique Zorrilla housing development in Manatí, and dispatched food trucks to serve more people in Piñones. Meanwhile, Andrés was in Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, to set up a kitchen that will remain active for the next few weeks.
He’s had help in these efforts, and has taken to Twitter to highlight the other hero chefs, and just plain heroes, he’s worked with, like Carlos Perez (chef at El Block restaurant), who Andrés calls “the real hero of Vieques” for feeding the Vieques residents overlooked by government aid.
Andrés has also visited the National Guard, who he says his team is feeding, despite the federal government’s lack of support for his efforts. (He says he’s asked for access to helicopters and other assistance to no avail.) For weeks, Andrés has used his Twitter platform to express his frustration with FEMA and President Trump, who he believes is not doing nearly enough to help the devastated island.
We are feeding the National Guard because they need hot meals and proud of it but Federal Goverment will not help us.........? pic.twitter.com/1CJGlRMM2W— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) October 13, 2017
Yesterday, Trump threatened to pull recovery efforts, but today he has softened his stance, tweeting, “The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the H’s. I will always be with them!”
Trump visited the island for a few hours last week, 13 days after the hurricane. Andrés, though, is with the people of Puerto Rico on the ground right now.