Celebrity chef José Andrés has fed more almost 12,000 furloughed federal workers at his temporary kitchen in Washington, D.C., since Thursday.
An employee of World Central Kitchen, Andrés's disaster relief effort, told The Hill that the kitchen served 6,488 meals on Friday after the pop-up food bank served 5,500 the day before. Combined, the kitchen has served more than 11,988 meals over two days.
"We will be there every day until this shutdown ends! Members of Congress @gop @TheDemocrats, I invite you to come to our kitchen and meet/serve those affected by this national emergency!" Andrés tweeted Friday.
And we will be there every day until this shutdown ends! Members of Congress @gop @TheDemocrats, I invite you to come to our kitchen and meet/serve those affected by this national emergency! #ChefsForFeds https://t.co/C7TpowBL1i— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 18, 2019
A frequent critic of President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE, Andrés announced in a tweet earlier this week that one of his restaurants in Washington, D.C., would serve as a pop-up food kitchen for federal workers until the shutdown ends. The ongoing shutdown entered its 29th day on Saturday.
"We believe that no person should have to go through the pain of not knowing what to feed [their] children,” Andrés said in a video message announcing the food kitchen. “We're going to be open for any federal family that needs food. We will have food for you to eat or food for you to take home.”
“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 where families are about to go hungry,” he added at the time. “We should always come together as we the people. As Americans. Bipartisan. Republicans and Democrats. All Americans."
Trump and the Democratic-controlled House have battled for weeks over the shutdown, which was triggered by the president's demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall.
The fight intensified this week with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid House Democrats unveil legislation to curtail presidential power MORE (D-Calif.) urging Trump to put off the State of the Union address and Trump responding by preventing congressional delegations from traveling overseas on military flights during the shutdown.
— Updated 11:40 a.m.