Why José Andrés wants to feed people impacted by natural disasters

José Andrés talks about feeding people hit by a natural disaster with Kait Parker and Dr. Maria Neira.
José Andrés talks about feeding people hit by a natural disaster with Kait Parker and Dr. Maria Neira.

Image: mashable

By Katie Berohn

José Andrés is on a mission. When natural disasters strike, the chef works to get people the meals they need.

“When people are hungry, we want to feed them,” said Andrés, speaking at the 10th annual Social Good Summit on Sept. 22. “So we make only the right decisions to make sure everybody is fed. Not a week from now, not a month from now, but right now.” 

When Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Bahamas earlier this month, Andrés and volunteers from his nonprofit were on the ground cooking food for the people who were most effected. “We began doing what we do best: adapting,” Andres said on the Summit stage, speaking alongside atmospheric scientist Kait Parker and Dr. Maria Neira, director of public health, environment, and social determinants of health at the World Health Organization.

Amid the unpredictability of hurricanes and other natural disasters, Andrés says his team strives to do the best they can. “We are there with fresh food, fresh fruit, and that’s what we do,” said Andrés. “We try to think, ‘what’s the worst nightmare?'”

When it comes to feeding people in disaster scenarios, Andrés explained that he and his team have to be ready for anything — and they can’t waste time trying to figure out solutions. “When we wait, people go hungry.”

During Hurricane Dorian, Andrés said that his team was able to serve over 400,000 meals.

“You know what gives me hope? It’s seeing people like you. People who come to learn and who are going to go out and change things afterward.” –@chefjoseandres #2030NOW

— Social Good (@socialgood) September 22, 2019

Andrés has hope. He is inspired by everyone who recognizes the potentially devastating impact of a changing economy and wants to do something about it. “We need all of you there to make sure that hunger is no more,” he said. “Physical and metaphorical, we need to feed the whole world.”

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