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José Andrés accepts service to leadership award for work in Ukraine

Chef José Andrés highlighted the importance of storytelling in bringing awareness to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and hunger across the globe when he accepted an award by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation on Tuesday.

Andrés, who was presented the Service to America Leadership Award for helping the people of Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion and providing hunger relief around the world in times of need, said that both food and stories are powerful tools for good.

“In Ukraine, I’ve been honored to tell the stories of the food fighters, because there are many ways to fight a war. With food is a way that you can win the fight for freedom and democracy. Those food fighters are showing me the power that people have of helping people,” Andrés said in his acceptance speech.

Mario Lopez, the actor and television host, emceed the gala, which honored award recipients across the field of television and radio broadcasting who have demonstrated service and commitment to bettering their communities and keeping their audiences informed.

“Whenever you get the chance to be on TV and have a large audience, you can influence a lot of people, and hopefully it’s for the better. A lot of these people tonight have been doing just that in great ways, so to give them their flowers and shine a light is a nice thing,” Lopez told The Hill. 

In addition to the Service to America Leadership Awards, presented to Andrés and Patti LaBelle, singer, author and humanitarian, former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) received the Service to America Samaritan Award for his leadership as a former National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO.

Although the ceremony was a time to celebrate and honor broadcasting and humanitarian work, Andrés said that it is important to continue telling the stories of those in need.

“I do believe that the role of you and the role of us is to make sure that forever in America, in Ukraine, and anywhere around the world, no children will be dying unnecessarily, no women or elderly will be dying unnecessarily, no children, no women, or elderly will go hungry every night. And this will only happen if we keep showing those stories, those stories that are our stories,” Andrés said at the ceremony.

Tags Gordon Smith Jose Andres Mario Lopez
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