Chef José Andrés partnered up with Baltimore city public schools to provide 10,000 free meals Wednesday, across 5 different sites. | VIDEO
World Central Kitchen distributed 10,000 meals at five different sites across Baltimore on Wednesday as celebrity chef founder José Andrés works to keep families from going hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrés said the organization plans to give out 10,000 more meals Friday and will continue to provide 20,000 meals per week, combined with the existing Baltimore City Schools meal sites for families who relied on the system’s free meals. The food is made by Revolution Foods, a company that partners with World Central Kitchen.
One of Wednesday’s World Central Kitchen distribution sites, at Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School, coincided with the school’s technology deployment, where they provided families with Chromebook laptops to help students stay on track with learning.
The school site distributed its 2,000 World Central Kitchen meals and 250 laptops over three hours with the help of the organization’s staff and the national guard, said principal Monique Debi.
“The event today went amazing,” Debi said. “Our families came out, they need all the support they can get.”
Elizabeth Marchetta, the executive director of food and nutrition services for Baltimore’s school system, said these extra meals are helping people who have limited access to food or lack transportation to stores. She also said it’s important to help support the community in general.
“I think that in times likes these, people need some sort of normalcy and consistency, and the best thing we can provide right now are places where people know they can show up to get food, no questions asked,” Marchetta said.
Baltimore is now one of dozens of American cities where World Central Kitchen is serving up a combined 175,000 meals a day, feeding hospital workers and community members.
Del. Brooke Lierman helped connect World Central Kitchen leaders with school system officials. She said she was inspired to reach out to World Central Kitchen after learning about the charity’s meal preparation operation at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.