BALTIMORE — Chef-turned-humanitarian José Andrés is once again on the front lines feeding those hardest hit by the pandemic through his nonprofit World Central Kitchen. Thus far, WCK has donated and cooked food for quarantined cruise ship members, delivered thousands of N95 masks to local D.C. hospitals, partnered with Sweetgreen to help deliver 100,000 meals to hospital workers, and turned Nats Park into a community kitchen churning out thousands of free meals daily.
Now, Andrés has partnered with Maryland and Gov. Larry Hogan to expand his food relief efforts to the city of Baltimore. Beginning April 25, World Central Kitchen will distribute 10,000–20,000 individually packaged, fresh meals every Saturday at Lot H of the Camden Yards Sports Complex.
"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," Hogan said. "We are all in this together, and we are going to get through this together."
WCK had previously been working with Baltimore City Public Schools to set up family meal pickup sites at schools, but in order to make sure families had access to meals on weekends as well, the now-vacant Orioles stadium seemed like the best option.
“We're honored and proud to start serving freshly made meals from historic Camden Yards in Baltimore, definitely one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country," Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, said.
Fifty volunteers will help serve the meals alongside WCK team members, with social distancing protocols in place.
Initially, Andrés closed all of his local restaurants to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He re-opened five locations (Jaleo Bethesda, Jaleo Crystal City, Jaleo DC, America Eats Tavern and Zaytinya) as community kitchens, offering discounted meals for takeout from noon to 4 p.m. daily. Andrés also launched bodega markets at the Beefsteak locations in Foggy Bottom and Dupont and Jaleo DC to sell staple pantry items and household goods from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Takeout and delivery is available from all ofAndrés' restaurants through Uber Eats.