Chef José Andrés Provides Free Meals to Those in Need

The renowned chef has turned several of his restaurants into community kitchens to help feed those impacted by the spread of Covid-19.

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- Posted on Mar 18, 2020

Chef José Andrés

Chef Jose Andrés is transforming seven of his shuttered restaurants in Washington D.C. and New York City to serve residents urged to stay home as a result of the Covid-19 virus. 

The Guideposts cover star—who owns the restaurant company, ThinkFoodGroup, and also co-founded the nonprofit, World Central Kitchen nonprofit—is combining his restaurant and nonprofit expertise to create community kitchens. The goal for these "food first responders" is to provide a safe place for people to pick up food while practicing social distancing.

"People have to eat," The Washington Post reported Chef Andrés as saying at a preview of the kitchens. "Not everybody is going to be able to go to the supermarket. We have areas in America that are food deserts. We have millions of Americans that, if you go to their kitchens, their kitchens are empty. Not everybody has money to fill up for a month. That's the reality."

This isn't the first time the celebrity chef has mobilized his restaurants and cooking tools to provide free food for people impacted by natural disasters. Andrés has been on the ground before for the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and most recently served food in Washington D.C. during the 2019 government shutdown.

The converted kitchens offer customers the option to pay a reduced price or donation for their meals. The food is free, however, for those unable to pay. Staff set up six-foot markers so those waiting in line can maintain the recommended social distances.

"At ThinkFoodGroup, we always said that we want to change the world through the power of food," Chef Andrés said in a video posted to his social media accounts. "I do believe that that phrase more than ever today has a big meaning."

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