Celebrity chef José Andrés to help feed federal workers furloughed by shutdown

Image: Jose Andres
Chef Jose Andres arrives at the 2019 Sean Penn J/P HRO & Disaster Relief Organizations Gala at The Wiltern Theatre, in Los Angeles on Jan. 5, 2019. Copyright Willy Sanjuan Invision/AP file
By Tim Stelloh with NBC News U.S. News
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"We believe that no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed the children," said the chef who runs a disaster-relief group, World Central Kitchen.


A disaster-relief group founded by celebrity chef José Andrés will offer meals to furloughed government workers in Washington, D.C., this week, the organization, World Central Kitchen, said Monday.

The group said it would provide free hot meals at a kitchen-café located on Pennsylvania Avenue between Capitol Hill and the White House beginning Wednesday. The initiative is called #ChefsForFeds.

Wednesday would mark the 26th day of the partial shutdown of the federal government, the longest in history.

Andrés, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize last year for his group's work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria , founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 after a powerful earthquake destroyed much of Haiti.

In December, the chef responded to a tweet from President Donald Trump referring to the "very good" chances of a shutdown by saying that he would offer free sandwiches to furloughed workers "until they get paid again."

"Today, we face another type of disaster emergency in the United States — more than 800,000 federal workers are without a job," Andrés said in a video posted on Twitter on Monday. "We believe that no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed the children, so we're opening a kitchen."

The kitchen's location has a "double meaning," Andrés said. "We're going to be open for any federal family that needs food ... But also I hope it will be a call to action to our senators and congressmen and especially President Trump to make sure we end this moment in the history of America."

After the deadly Camp Fire swept through Northern California in November, Andrés and fellow celebrity chef Guy Fieri cooked Thanksgiving dinner for survivors and volunteers. The nonprofit has also worked in Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and other countries.

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