Driving Economic Recovery In A COVID-19 World

I hope you were able to see the 60 Minutes segment on the World Central Kitchen led by José Andrés. He is deserving of the greatest humanitarian award that exists. He has ideas for driving economic recovery in a COVID-19 world.

He’s a doer, not a talker. He produces meals by the thousands for people suffering in disasters like COVID-19 and the hurricanes that struck Puerto Rico and The Bahamas. He’s focused on delivering humanitarian aid. He doesn’t need a contract to get started–he’s underway before he even gets the first call.

Here are some excerpts of this 60 Minutes segment:

“When you talk about food and water, people don’t want a solution one week from now, one month from now. The solution has to be now.” Chef José Andrés talks about the urgency of feeding first responders and those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. https://cbsn.ws/3bysx9H

“We need to make sure that we keep showing up every day, sending a very clear message, ‘We are here for you and we are going to take care of you.’” José Andrés’ organization, World Central Kitchen, is trying to feed those without easy access to a food bank. https://cbsn.ws/3ctr7NB

“What we’ve been doing is use the systems that are already in place. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” says Michelin star chef Jose Andres about his organization paying restaurants around the country to cook free meals for the hungry. https://cbsn.ws/2VmDoOf

José Andrés says he believes the government has to invest in keeping restaurants open and people fed. In 2017, FEMA awarded Andrés’ World Central Kitchen contracts worth $11.5 million to serve free meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. https://cbsn.ws/2VFGVpM

Food normally sent to restaurants and schools arrives in bulk and it takes time and money for distributors to repackage those goods for sale in grocery store. Now unable to get their food to market, farmers are discarding millions of pounds of food. https://cbsn.ws/3alBHVt

“Dairies and milk, poultry operation, eggs and meat, those are what I see as the most vulnerable because they’re the most people-intensive,” says former head of FEMA, Craig Fugate on possible future grocery store shortages during coronavirus. https://cbsn.ws/2RRtlyl

“We are going to be more respectful to everyday Americans because now those everyday Americans, in my eyes, they are the heroes that kept America going, that kept America fed,” says Michelin star chef José Andrés on the essential workers feeding America. https://cbsn.ws/3cvs1cj

There are some critical insights in this segment.

  • Putting restaurant workers to work to feed those suffering from food insufficiency is a win-win
  • Finding outlets for food that would otherwise go to waste is a win-win
  • Ensuring money allocated is actually used for what it is purported to be used for is a win-win
  • Freeing Americans from worry about where their next meal will come from for themselves and, in many cases, their families is a win-win

José Andrés is a national treasure. There is much to learn from this man who has no quit in him.

Photo Courtesy of World Central Kitchen

Thought for the week:

“For those Americans who believe ‘shelter-in-place’ orders are an illegal overreach by state governors, you are wrong. These orders are issued due to a public health emergency caused by a pandemic. The orders are lawful. This isn’t a game. Put your guns away, go home and stay home so we can end this when the data tells us it is prudent to do so.” – Dave Gardner


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