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Chef José Andrés’ meals operation in Baltimore expands to Camden Yards

Chef José Andrés partnered up with Baltimore city public schools to provide 10,000 free meals Wednesday, across 5 different sites. | VIDEO

Humanitarian chef José Andrés’ efforts to help feed hungry Baltimore residents is expanding to the Camden Yards stadium complex starting Saturday morning.

Andrés’ nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, plans to hand out between 10,000 and 20,000 individually-packaged meals every Saturday at the downtown stadium complex that’s home to the Orioles and Ravens. World Central Kitchen has been in negotiations with the Maryland Stadium Authority and Gov. Larry Hogan’s office for weeks.

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“This certainly isn’t how we planned to be using Camden Yards right now, but at the very least, we can use the space to help families in need during this crisis,” the Republican governor said in a statement Thursday.

Just this week, World Central Kitchen set up shop at 10 Baltimore schools to begin delivering thousands of meals to families on Wednesdays and Fridays

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The famous chef, who operates dozens of restaurants, including Jaleo and Oyamel in Washington, D.C., made a brief appearance Wednesday at Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School in East Baltimore.

World Central Kitchen, founded by the D.C.-based Andrés in 2010, has been in dozens of cities helping to tackle food insecurity that has worsened due to the coronavirus pandemic that has closed schools and thrown millions of Americans out of work.

The Camden Yards meal distribution will take place in the complex’s Lot H from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays until further notice. Parking is available and the site is accessible from the Hamburg Street Light Rail stop.

The Salvation Army also is using Camden Yards as part of its efforts to deliver 10,000 meals per day to vulnerable senior residents of Baltimore.

This isn’t the first time that Andrés’ team has used a ballpark to support its operations.

World Central Kitchen also runs a meal preparation site at Nationals Park in Washington, though that operation is not open to the public.

Hogan’s office, meanwhile, announced an expanded effort with food banks to get more groceries to families.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the state to operate a Disaster Household Distribution Program. Through that effort, the state is working with the Maryland Food Bank and the Capital Area Food bank to distribute 1 million pounds of food through their networks of smaller food banks, pantries and feeding programs.

Recipients will get “disaster food packages” that include shelf-stable foods such as pasta, tomato sauce and canned goods, as well as frozen meat.

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