WASHINGTON — Nearly 10 days after the cataclysmic explosion shook the Lebanese capital, D.C.-based World Central Kitchen reported its partner cooks, bakers and volunteers are preparing 10,000 meals per day within the city, as part of a relief effort directed by chef and humanitarian José Andrés.
Andrés is now posting video updates from Beirut on Twitter, showing the devastation around the port and the near-constant activity across more than half a dozen kitchens affiliated with his nonprofit.
“We have all the restaurants around ground zero, so we are covering all the needs from every angle,” Andrés said in a video Thursday. “Many of this food is going to go to some hospitals, Red Cross… If we need to go up (above 10,000 meals per day), we will, that’s what we do.”
The mobilization comes two weeks after World Central Kitchen reported a dire forecast, making substantial cuts as its funds are in danger of running dry. CEO Nate Mook said the sharp economic downturn is responsible for a commensurate decline in donations, at a time when the non-profit’s need has never been greater.
Yet the decision to deploy to Beirut was made without hesitation.
The nonprofit expects a presence in the city for at least several weeks, as it continues to feed displaced families and first responders.
“Today we delivered about 150 meals sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit to the firefighters that are at the port and the fire chief came over to pick up the meals,” Mook said. “He was so grateful for that support, and we’re going to try to do what we can do to support during this time of crisis right now.”
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