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José Andrés has a message for lawmakers on Ukraine and other disasters: ‘We need to respond with urgency’

(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for National Geographic)
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 28: World Central Kitchen Founder José Andrés and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) attend the Washington DC Screening Of National Geographic Documentary Films’ WE FEED PEOPLE, streaming on Disney+ May 27, at National Portrait Gallery on April 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for National Geographic)

José Andrés is calling on Congress and the entrepreneurial sector to help him with his mission to feed the world, saying, “We cannot end hunger alone.”

The celebrity chef was feted at a star-studded screening Thursday at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington for the premiere of his new National Geographic documentary, “We Feed People.”

“Feeding hungry people in America and around the world is not just important, but it is essential,” Andrés told The Hill.

“We Feed People” follows Andrés and his nonprofit hunger relief organization, World Central Kitchen, around the globe as they help people in crisis, from providing meals following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, to bringing food to parts of the Navajo Nation hit hard by COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the screening, Andrés said a government’s job is to “take care of the people in their darkness and lowest hour.”

“We need to make sure that we have the systems in place that in disasters like [Hurricane] Katrina — where people who were without food and water — will never happen again,” he said.

World Central Kitchen, which is currently active in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February, does “nothing special,” Andrés contended.

“But the right bills, with the right support from White House, the right support from Congress, will allow governors and mayors, in partnership with small, medium and bigger [non-governmental organizations] NGOs, who in turn partner with the private sector, to respond to many of the problems that we face,” he said.

“Where the government cannot do it alone, where the private sector and the NGOs cannot do it alone, but all together, we can actually be very powerful,” Andrés added.

The Spanish-born culinary whiz, who was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, said he was grateful to be holding the screening when Congress is in session because “maybe they can respond with some urgency when disaster strikes.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was eyed greeting Andrés with a kiss on the cheek and a hug at the event. Bezos, who last year donated $100 million towards Andrés’s work, mingled with former CNN+ host Chris Wallace and CNN’s Dana Bash. 

“We Feed People,” directed by Ron Howard, premieres May 27 on Disney+.

Tags Jose Andres jose andres Russia-Ukraine war Russian invasion of Ukraine WHCD White House correspondents dinner World Central Kitchen

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