Daily Video

September 5, 2019

How chef José Andrés feeds the storm-stricken Bahamas


By Lydia Breisith, director, PBS WETA’s Colorín Colorado


Directions: Watch the video, read the summary and answer the questions below. Follow along with the transcript here.


Summary: Before Hurricane Dorian reached the Bahamas last weekend, chef José Andrés and his nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen (WCK), were on the ground preparing to provide meals to people affected by the natural disaster. The hurricane indeed was catastrophic for the islands, where search and rescue efforts continue as the death toll, now 23, is likely to rise.

Andrés has multiple restaurants in many cities and has turned much of his attention to providing food to people affected by natural disasters. According to the WCK website, the organization has provided more than 8 million meals after emergencies in Haiti, Peru, Houston, Puerto Rico, California, Hawaii, Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, the Carolinas, Florida, Nebraska, Mozambique, Colombia, Venezuela and more.

José Andrés has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019. (The winner of that prize will be announced later this year.) Andrés is originally from Spain and became a U.S. citizen in 2013.


Essential question:

Why do you think José Andrés decided to create an organization focused on providing homemade meals to people in disaster zones?

Warm-up questions:

  • What are some of the challenges that people face after a natural disaster (food, clothing, housing, medical, etc.)?
  • What are specific challenges around food after a natural disaster?


Feeding people in the Bahamas

  1. Watch this clip: 1:45 – 2:45 How chef José Andrés is working to feed the storm-stricken Bahamas
  • What are some steps José Andrés and WCK are taking to help get food to people immediately in the Bahamas?
  • Take a look at your list of challenges around food and natural disasters above. How is WCK addressing some of those challenges in the Bahamas?

Note: You may wish to refer students to this quote from the end of the video and review media literacy tips regarding organizations that ask for donations:  4:25 – 4:40

“What I’m going to be telling people is always the same. I know a lot of people are going to be requesting money. And make sure that — if you donate money, make sure it’s the right organizations, that they are really doing work on the ground.”

2. Watch this clip: 2:10 – 4:12 When disaster strikes, Jose Andres brings hot food and hope (PBS NewsHour)

  • What are some reasons why WCK partnered with local people on the ground to make meals in Puerto Rico?
  • Why do you think government officials initially didn’t believe José Andrés could do what he said he could?

3. José Andrés and World Central Kitchen follow blueprint from Puerto Rico to feed Dorian victims

Read this quote from an article about how José Andrés is applying lessons from Puerto Rico to the Bahamas:

If the chef and his nonprofit rewrote the textbook in 2017 on how to respond to natural disasters — feed the people hot or homemade meals, not Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)s; rely on available resources, not just those shipped from far away; allow the people to help feed themselves, not rely on outsiders — they had to learn these lessons the hard way in Puerto Rico: by on-the-job training and improvisation. They activated any space with electricity and water: churches, restaurants, food trucks, even the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan.

  • Why do you think WCK is focusing on available resources and helping people feed themselves, rather than only relying on outside help?
  • Think again about the challenges around food and natural disasters you listed at the beginning. How might conditions change from disaster site to disaster site?
  • What lessons can we learn from José Andrés’ work?


Media literacy question

Take a look at the following tweets that Chef José Andrés’ posted to his Twitter feed from the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. What is the purpose of each tweet and how does it support World Central Kitchen’s goal of feeding more people in the Bahamas following the hurricane?

  1. “They need you in Freeport…kids are hungry.”


  1. Map of WCK kitchens in Bahamas


  1. Footage of devastation in Abaco


  1. Time lapse of getting food unloaded in Bahamas


  1. Dollar for dollar donation match for Team Rubicon (a different organization on the ground in the Bahamas)


What are positive and negative roles that social media can play following a natural disaster or crisis?


Related Resources

José Andrés at 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival

José Andrés discusses “Vegetables Unleashed” and “We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time” with Diane Rehm at the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Introduced by: Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.



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