Who’s feeding all the National Guardsmen in Washington, D.C. right now? Chef José Andrés, of course

Who’s feeding all the National Guardsmen in Washington, D.C. right now? Chef José Andrés, of course

More than 25,000 members of the United States National Guard have been called up to protect the nation’s capital in the wake of the violent insurrection incited by Donald Trump on Jan. 6. Between the troops, the fences, and the near-empty sidewalks and streets, images from the District of Columbia ahead of the historic inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are far more reminiscent of a war zone, rather than the joyful celebration of the fall of Trump’s cruel regime. 

Enter humanitarian and national treasure Chef José Andrés, who—in between writing books, suing Trump, and opening roughly 20 restaurants—has made it his personal life mission to feed the people of the world when they are in crisis. Whether it’s a hurricane or an earthquake, a pandemic or a wildfire, Chef Andrés’ World Central Kitchen (WCK) volunteers are never far behind … with healthy, tasty meals for anyone who needs them. 

With the District, where Andrés lives, on a surreal post-insurrection lockdown ahead of the inauguration on Wednesday, and tens of thousands of soldiers arriving to protect it, you can probably see where this is going.

First, let’s note that WCK’s unique model pays restaurants to make food for people in need.

WCK’s Restaurants For The People has provided families with 14 million fresh meals, while also paying $140 million to local restaurants. This model has proven successful & the FEED Act—included in @JoeBiden‘s new plan—would take it further. Read more here: https://t.co/jQjtslhOcn pic.twitter.com/TdFwnLQZCm

— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) January 15, 2021

That’s been particularly important during the pandemic, when hunger is spreading even faster than COVID-19, and the already fragile restaurant sector is hit extremely hard by shutdowns, curfews, and other restrictions.

“The pandemic took us down rapidly, so this partnership has given us much needed revenue to keep our staff employed. There have been people struggling to make ends meet, so to know that people are receiving free meals, this is really huge.” Charles, Blueprint Cafe Newark, NJ pic.twitter.com/sGjfFEJF5F

— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) January 15, 2021

It’s a pretty smart approach, and some pretty important people have taken notice.

The crisis is worse than ever before, but we have a huge win-win in front of us. Cities & states work with the fed govt to keep restaurants working and people fed. We bring back jobs, buy from farmers, support local producers…empower the organization that understand the need.

— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please… (@chefjoseandres) January 15, 2021

Ahead of Biden’s inauguration, Chef Andrés took a drive around Washington, D.C. to see the impact of WCK’s latest mission: Feeding the soldiers ensuring the ceremony we’re all waiting for doesn’t turn into another live-streamed shitshow.

Hey everyone…just finished delivering hot stews to some of the National Guard & others on this rainy night in DC. I know there’s a lot of concern about the Guard…but our city & many restaurants are making sure everyone is taken care of! One Guardsman had a message to share… pic.twitter.com/IeZcFcoywD

— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please… (@chefjoseandres) January 16, 2021

Again, note that WCK is helping both soldiers AND restaurants. And if Chef Andrés’ Twitter feed is any indication, they’ll be feeding soldiers quality meals all week long.

Sandwich and hot meal prep under way this morning for our National Guard and other first responders in DC! On the menu: Roast beef, sun-dried tomato with basil aioli on ciabatta 🥪 & tomato braised vegetable stew with cannelloni beans 🍲 (plus a version with chicken!) #ChefsForDC pic.twitter.com/q3CPaMLa0p

— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) January 16, 2021

That’s no small feat. As of this writing, 25,000 National Guardsmen are being deployed to the District.

Sandwich making in action this morning with the @WCKitchen team! These are going out with hot meals to National Guard troops protecting the Capitol and other first responders keeping DC safe this weekend. #ChefsForDC pic.twitter.com/VfW5FVAYMt

— Nate Mook (@natemook) January 16, 2021

As Andrés notes in this video, his Jaleo tapas restaurants, which, like other D.C. businesses, is not permitted to open due to security. It’s WCK HQ as Jaleo, and many other District companies, focus on this important effort instead. 

People of America! Good morning from our @WCKitchen headquarters at @Jaleo! Our WCK kitchen truck is outside cooking…and this is some of the team as we prepare meals for our @USNationalGuard & other first responders protecting DC this weekend! #ChefsForDC pic.twitter.com/Mnq18DOCOi

— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please… (@chefjoseandres) January 16, 2021

Even Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, got in on the good deeds on Saturday.

Today, it was my honor to join @chefjoseandres and @WCKitchen to provide meals to our heroic National Guard troops who are keeping our Congressional community safe during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/aqJ1JEwumA

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 16, 2021

This is patriotism. 

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