Dining With Miss Lil: Chef José Andrés Is Helping Puerto Rico Hurricane Survivors

By Lil Nickelson

Washington, DC’s only true hero, Chef José Andrés, has once again jumped into action in response to a natural disaster.  Less than a month after feeding the people of Houston post Hurricane Harvey, Andrés is in Puerto Rico to help Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.  Chef José Andrés is using every single one of his resources for people in Puerto Rico displaced by Hurricane Maria.  The chef has coordinated donations and relief efforts as well as helping in person.

The chef arrived at the devastated island on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017, according to his Twitter feed, and he quickly got to work rallying volunteers and gathering supplies to cook meals for those in need.

According to his tweets, since arriving, Andrés has secured a chicken donation and visited the kitchen at indoor arena Coliseo de Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, the chef announced that his nonprofit World Central Kitchen provided 200 meals daily to patients at Puerto Rico’s Hospital of Carolina through October 1st. Andrés has also reached out on Twitter for help locating an 86-year-old man in Añasco, Puerto Rico, just to make sure he was okay.

Since arriving on the island, the Washington, D.C.-based chef has taken part in relief efforts and has been active on Twitter, documenting all the ways that he and others can help the people living in this U.S. territory without electricity, scarce food, and little fresh water.

He has secured a poultry donation from Perdue Farms, announced that his nonprofit World Central Kitchen will provide 200 daily meals to patients at the Hospital of Carolina, rallied volunteers to bring food, water, and diesel, and visited the kitchen at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico to strategize cooking for those in need.

Although the chef and many others are doing incredible work, the situation in Puerto Rico remains dire. Food and water are so scarce that civilians wrote a plea for the necessities on the pavement in a neighborhood of Punto Santiago, just on the off chance that nearby planes and helicopters might see it and bring supplies. Most Puerto Ricans are also still without power. Officials are estimating that it could take up to six months for electricity to be restored to the island.

World Central Kitchen will host its fourth annual World Food Day on October 13, 2017, and so far, 150 restaurants nationwide have agreed to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to WCK’s Puerto Rico aid and to a new culinary school in Haiti.

The charity, founded by chef José Andrés, typically focuses on smart solutions to hunger and poverty, but this year the nonprofit has goals to fund relief for post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico and to fund a culinary school in Haiti (whose 2010 disaster brought about the organization in the first place).

Many restaurant heavyweights are participating in the event. Notable names like San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food, Chicago’s Girl & The Goat, New York City’s Otto and Esca, and LA’s Patina will be donating 10 percent of their proceeds to the charity, as will many others.

If you can donate anything to the efforts being made to help the people of Puerto Rico, you can donate to any of these places:

  • United for Puerto Rico
  • Global Giving
  • UNICEF
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Hispanic Federation’s “Unidos” Page
  • All Hands Volunteers
  • Americares
  • Direct Relief
  • Save the Children

If you can travel and physically volunteer, please check out Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Read more of Lil Nickelson’s “Dining With Miss Lil” here.

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