UPDATE 9/9/2019: On Monday, José Andrés posted a video update on his Twitter, explaining that helicopters were on their way bringing food to affected areas in the Bahamas—he projected that they'd reach over 100,000 total meals delivered by the end of the day. He gave a shoutout to the Bahamian government, Atlantis Paradise Island, volunteers, Carnival, and others for mobilizing in a true community effort.
First #ChefsForBahamas food run of the day on the way! Today we @WCKitchen will reach 100,000 meals served! This is true community effort...only possible because of support of you & partners here on the ground... @atlantisbahamas @opmthebahamas @CarnivalCruise @BlankFoundation pic.twitter.com/nxmUYTG4dA— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 9, 2019
Original story posted 9/4 continues below.
Over the past several years, chef José Andrés and his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, have been working to feed people in times of crisis. They were on the ground in Southern California this summer preparing meals for residents and first responders in the wake of earthquakes; when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Andrés famously prepared giant vats of paella that served 5,000 people, reaching one million meals in October 2017. Now, he and WCK are in the Bahamas, operating relief kitchens in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm on record to hit the islands. The damage was described as “apocalyptic,” per the Associated Press, with seven deaths reported so far and more expected; the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were among the hardest hit, enduring winds up to 185 miles per hour. The hurricane made landfall over the weekend, and Andrés was already on his way August 31, tweeting that he and WCK were en route to Nassau.
Here we come @atlantisbahamas @VisitTheBahamas we can not make it to Freeport, airport closed,but we will arrive Nassau;wait and reach by plane or boat to Freeport! Be safe everyone. Also @WCKitchen teams concentrating in Central and North Florida @FLSERT and South Carolina... pic.twitter.com/2OIpHh7r21— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) August 31, 2019
Since then, both he and the World Central Kitchen account have been providing updates on the relief efforts. On September 1, WCK posted on its website, saying that Andrés and WCK Relief Team members were still stationed in Nassau—south of where the hurricane is centered—ready to begin cooking as soon as the storm had passed and they could safely reach Great Abaco and Grand Bahama. Andrés also tweeted out a map that WCK had prepared to organize their response in the Bahamas, marking relief kitchens and shelters. “If then kitchens are destroyed, we build one and cook in big paella pans,” he wrote.
How do we organize a response in Bahamas? Here’s our current map we are working from.... @WCKitchen has kitchens ready to go and shelters mapped out. If kitchens are destroyed, we build one and cook in big paella pans! https://t.co/yNzrfrKIaS pic.twitter.com/fa4sBN8qMe— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 1, 2019
.@chefjoseandres is on the ground in the Bahamas where he and his team are feeding the victims of Hurricane Dorian and preparing for the storm's aftermath. https://t.co/SPV2gyfYCD pic.twitter.com/3ZEfwmAlG3— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 3, 2019
On September 2, Anderson Cooper posted a live video conversation he’d had with Andrés, who said that they were preparing a boat to fill up with food and equipment—he also gave a shoutout to Atlantis Paradise Island, which has been supporting WCK and volunteers who have joined in on the relief effort. On the whole, he hopes to serve at least 10,000 meals to Abaco residents, according to CNN—when he was finally able to leave Nassau and travel to the Abaco Islands on Tuesday via helicopter, he flew over 2,000 sandwiches and “more than 1,000 oranges.” In a video posted that same day, he explained that WCK is setting up a relief kitchen in Marsh Harbor, a town in the Abaco islands, and that there are a lot of hungry people—on Wednesday, he followed up from a helicopter and reported he was on his way to Abaco once more to deliver “close to 2,000 sandwiches and 3,000 hot meals," as well as water. He expects to take three helicopter flights back and forth, delivering food and visiting the local hospital and WCK relief kitchen.
“I think we’re going to be here for quite some weeks,” he said in conversation with Cooper.
Reporting in from Marsh Harbor in Abaco where there is a lot of hungry people....We @WCKitchen are setting up a kitchen here now & will also be bringing thousands more meals tomorrow from Nassau. We have to move quick! #ChefsForBahamas pic.twitter.com/hmqEkKkO5l— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 4, 2019
Atlantis Paradise Island has teamed up with WCK and the Bahamas Red Cross to help provide food and supplies to affected residents, setting up a GoFundMe to gather donations. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Bahamas Red Cross to help with hurricane recovery efforts, according to the GoFundMe page—at the time this story was written, over $55,000 had already been raised toward the $1,000,000 goal. You can also text “FOOD” to 80100 to donate $10 to WCK, per the Twitter page.
You can always text FOOD to 80100 to donate $10 to WCK. Thank you for your support! 🙏— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) September 2, 2019