Restaurant owner uses chef skills and social media to recruit volunteers and feed those afflicted by Hurricane Maria.
Celebrity chef and restaurant owner José Andrés is on the ground in Puerto Rico, working to gather volunteers and supplies to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Maria.
Since he arrived in Puerto Rico, Andrés has been using the Twitter hashtag #ChefsforPuertoRico to organize the relief effort, which he says will soon serve the needy 10,000 meals a day. In addition to lending his high-profile name to the effort, along with his artistry in the kitchen, he has personally orchestrated the complicated operation.
The Spanish-American chef, known for introducing America to tapas, has used social media for more than just amassing retweets. He’s used Twitter as a tool to help those who need help, fast. Since he arrived on the island he’s tweeted to find a volunteer to deliver bread, to let Puerto Ricans know where to go for free sancocho (a Puerto Rican beef stew), and to help find a lost 86-year-old man, among other urgent needs.
The disaster in Puerto Rico is only the latest instance in which Andres has organized efforts to bring food to communities in need. The Eater reports that Andres founded the non-profit World Central Kitchen in 2010 after the earthquake in Haiti, and has provided assistance in Nicaragua, Zambia, and recently in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
World Central Kitchen is soliciting donations on its website for its relief effort. Hurricane Maria has wiped out 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s agriculture, leaving people in need of food, water and shelter.