Just two months after arriving in Puerto Rico, José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen served its 3 millionth meal on the island. The nonprofit has done more to feed people in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria than any other organization, despite the fact that disaster relief is actually a new area of focus for the group.
To reach this major milestone, the chef, his #ChefsForPuertoRico network, and volunteers served hot meals and sandwiches in Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities by mobilizing food trucks and setting up 20 kitchens across the island. But, according to a press release, a new phase in #ChefsForPuertoRico’s relief efforts begins now.
Big news! #ChefsForPuertoRico has served over 3 MILLION fresh meals to people in need! @ChefVentura cooked the 3 millionth meal in our Adjuntas kitchen. So proud of our @WCKitchen team!! pic.twitter.com/rQEBfaInT9— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) November 27, 2017
As the need for day-to-day emergency relief lessens, World Central Kitchen will focus on restoring its kitchens and refurbishing food trucks, which have “taken a beating” after months traveling decimated roads to bring food to the hardest hit areas.
The trucks will still feed the people that need food most, as identified by World Central Kitchen’s “data and intelligence-based model,” and satellite kitchens in Ponce, Vieques, and Adjuntas will continue to operate under the direction of local chefs. But the goal is for World Central Kitchen to enable restaurants and food trucks to reopen, “fueling private sector reemergence and growth.”
As with its work in Haiti, World Central Kitchen plans to establish ongoing projects in Puerto Rico. The nonprofit intends to work with fishermen in Vieques and Humacao and will focus on rebuilding agriculture in the center of the island, with more longterm projects to be announced in 2018.
Andrés, meanwhile, was recently the subject of a 60 Minutes segment with Anderson Cooper, remind us all that he’s not just a real-life superhero, but also a superstar chef.