Chef Andrés’ non-profit World Central Kitchen has so far served over 4 million hot meals to Ukrainian refugees both inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries they cross into.
“My message to him was that the Ukrainian people need all the help we can give them,” Andrés told CNN. “They are defending their country, they are fighting for freedom, they are fighting for democracy and the least America and the free world can do is to be next to them, that was my very simple and direct message.”
“We have already surpassed 4 million [meals}, we are doing about 280-290 thousand meals per day distributed over a thousand distribution points, in 6 countries. Inside Ukraine, we are in 21 cities. Obviously, Lviv has become our headquarters, but we are delivering every day to places like Kyiv, Odessa and other places."
“How do we do that so fast and so quickly? I think everybody’s talking about the men and women defending Ukraine, but there are other people fighting the war in other ways, it’s what I called the ‘Food Fighters’. We see restaurants, we see food people, in many of these cities feeding women, children, the elderly who are very often in bunkers trying to escape the bombing that arrived without anybody telling them."
“And what you see is everybody doing what they can to provide comfort and relief to fellow Ukrainians, not only inside Ukraine, but in the first moment I arrived I saw Poland, I was able to tell the president and the prime minister of Poland that within hours people were in every single border crossing with baby food, formula, hot soup, in temperatures that were freezing. Women and children were walking across the border and they were being welcomed at least with a message of ‘we care, we are going to take care of you and you are not going to be alone in this dark hour'."
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has named José Andrés co-chair for the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. His role will be to work with the committee "to promote healthy, accessible eating and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability".