José Andrés Is Calling For President-Elect Biden To Appoint A Secretary Of Food To Focus On Hunger

Kristin Salaky
·2 min read
Photo credit: Paul Morigi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paul Morigi - Getty Images

From Delish

Chef José Andrés has called upon the incoming Biden administration to appoint a new cabinet position, specifically focused on food and hunger, called the Secretary of Food.

The chef, who founded the non-profit World Central Kitchen, told Yahoo! News in a recent interview that he feels this position would be vitally important, especially as Americans are facing immense challenges related to food and hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America estimates that one in six Americans could face hunger as a result of the pandemic. José said that this proposed position would be separate from the Department of Agriculture and focus specifically on food itself and the systems around distributing it and accessing it.

“We need to understand one thing: that food is more than the USDA. Food is more than just all of the mechanics of a smart agricultural system,” he said in the interview: “Food is immigration. Food is health. Food is national security. Food is job creation. Food is economic growth."

“We need to make sure that we have somebody near the president that sees food as what it is: a very important issue that sometimes falls between the cracks,” he continued.

This isn't the first time he has called for such a position. The chef wrote an op-ed for The New York Times last week titled simply "We Need a Secretary of Food."

"This pandemic year has reminded us of so many things we have forgotten, or ignored. But it will also show us the path forward, to someday feeding all of America equitably. By returning to our roots, I believe we can build a better future for ourselves and our communities," he wrote in part.

José has shown support for Joe Biden in the past and the two even discussed food insecurity and the state of the restaurant industry during a town hall hosted by Yahoo News. While he said he is happy with his current roles and wouldn't say if he would take such a position, it's clear Chef José will continue to step up to support and advise leaders.

“If President Biden needs my help or the help of the other 350 million Americans I know, all of us, we will be there,” he told Yahoo!. “Myself, I’m there already, I don’t need to be called.”

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