Chef José Andrés sets up kitchen to feed refugees at Ukraine-Poland border
Chef José Andrés has announced that his World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to providing meals in the wake of disasters, is serving refugees in need at the Ukraine-Poland border.
Posting on Twitter, Andrés said he felt “distraught” watching the conflict in Ukraine unfold.
“We must come together as a force for good! @WCKitchen [World Central Kitchen] is on Poland border delivering meals tonight,” he said, adding that he plans to deploy staff to the Ukraine-Romania border soon.
The news comes as violence continues in Ukraine following attacks ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin, forcing many people to cross the country’s borders in an effort to find safety.
According to the latest estimates from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a total of 368,000 refugees have left Ukraine so far – a number that continues to rise.
Andrés also shared a video of himself encouraging the public to take action against injustice.
“We need to be a force of good,” he said. “I think it’s up to every one of us to start speaking up every time we see things that are unjustified.
“We see that the International Red Cross is already is putting together shelters, we see that Polish people are already feeding people as they cross the border. In this moment, [we are] being one. [We are] taking care of the people in the darkest hour.”
Updates posted to Twitter showed teams of workers serving fresh food to refugees.
On Saturday, the non-profit estimated to have served 1,700 hot meals of chicken, rice and vegetables.
As of Sunday, World Central Kitchen is now also operating in Odessa, a city in southern Ukraine, where chefs have served up more than 1,000 meals.
In July 2021, World Central Kitchen was the recipient of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ Courage and Civility Award, receiving a grant of $100 million (£74 million). Andrés said this was being used to fund its aid in Ukraine.
Russia began an invasion of Ukraine earlier this week after Putin announced a “specialised military operation” in the early hours of Thursday.
Many world leaders have condemned the invasion as an “unprovoked and unjustifiable” attack on Ukraine, with UK prime minister Boris Johnson describing it as “nothing short of a tragedy”.
“The people of the United Kingdom stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in the face of this unjustifiable assault on your homeland,” he said in a video shared to Twitter on Friday.
“This crisis, this tragedy can and must come to an end,” he said, adding that “Putin’s actions are leading to complete isolation for Russia”.