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Chef José Andrés is feeding refugees at Ukraine-Poland border: 'We won't let them down'

His non-profit World Central Kitchen is believed to have served more than 8,000 meals at the Ukraine border.

Chef José Andrés is feeding refugees at Ukraine-Poland border: 'We won't let them down'
Image source: Twitter: Left: @chefjoseandres Right: @WCKitchen

José Andrés, a Spanish American chef, has set up mobile kitchens to feed Ukrainians fleeing the country in the wake of the Russian invasion. The popular restaurateur and philanthropist is by the Ukrainian border crossing in Poland and providing hot meals for people escaping the attack. “People of the World… Like you, I am distraught watching Ukraine under attack,” said Andrés in a tweet. “We must come together as a force for good!” The 52-year-old is working in tandem with his not-for-profit organization, World Central Kitchen (WCK), and added that he'll be using funds from his $100 million Jeff Bezos grant he won in 2021 for his humanitarian work, reported NBC News. Andrés said WCK has served more than 8,000 meals which include soup, hot chicken stew and apple pie. 



In the video he shared online, he said there were a lot of volunteers and communities helping Ukrainian refugees. “We see that the international Red Cross is putting together shelters,” he said. “We already see that Polish people are already feeding people as they cross the border. We are seeing people in Ukraine taking care of people and doing the best they can under the circumstances.” He also posted a video of himself serving food at the border. “It is below freezing tonight and I am meeting so many refugees, families who are escaping and don’t know what’s next… We will do our best not to let them down,” he said in the tweet. The restaurateur started WCK in 2010 after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. His work with WCK also saw him being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.



WCK has also coordinated with Caritas nuns to serve food to refugees at the Rava-Ruska and Shehyni border crossings between Ukraine and Poland. While they are helping at the border, Andrés said he and WCK hope to enter Ukraine when it's safe to do so and serve the people there. They are also working to partner with restaurants in Ukraine to work out solutions to feed people. The Russian invasion has also blocked the supply of essentials leading to a food shortage in Kyiv. Tanya Kozyreva, a freelance journalist shared images of empty grocery shelves. “Never have I ever seen anything like that in Kyiv. Triggers the worst possible scenario in my head. Famine is something Ukraine had experienced twice already,” wrote Kozyreva. Supermarkets experienced huge lines after they reopened following a 36-hour curfew instituted as a result of the attack. Kyiv municipal authorities said grocery stores will be open and city public transport system will run at limited capacity to help those who are in the country, reported CNN.



Andrés through WCK has always sought to help people in a time of crisis. While serving food after Hurricane Ida, he said, "Food cannot wait. People must eat today, not next week, not next month.” WCK also worked tirelessly to feed people in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, especially in regions where many families didn't have access to fresh food. He also helped organize food for law enforcement officers and first responders in the wake of January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. 



Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.

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