José Andrés Is Opening an Emergency Pop-Up Kitchen in DC to Feed Federal Employees and Their Families Affected by the Government Shutdown

World Central Kitchen will provide meals during the shutdown, similar to areas hit by natural disasters.

Photo of José Andrés by Evy Mages

Celebrity chef turned humanitarian José Andrés has issued a new call to action during the government shutdown and will open a World Central Kitchen pop-up kitchen on Pennsylvania Avenue to provide food to furloughed government workers and their families. The operation is in the spirit of service stations set up in areas hit by natural disasters, including Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and in Houston to help flood victims. In both instances, Andrés and his team fed thousands.

“World Central Kitchen is always there to respond to any disaster to make sure Americans and people around the world will not go one day without food. Today, we face another type of disaster emergency in the United States,” says Andrés in a video he posted to Twitter from Puerto Rico. 

Andrés has already been offering free sandwiches to furloughed workers from his DC restaurants during the shutdown. This next, much bigger operation will open near the US Navy Memorial Plaza (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) on Wednesday, January 16, and will provide daily, ready-to-eat meals to federal families as well as food to take home from 11 AM to 6 PM. Andrés currently runs a test kitchen and private event space called ThinkFoodLab at the location.  In other cities hit by disasters, WCK has made a point of providing hot, nutritious meals—as opposed to government-issued boxes with snack crackers and juice—such as massive pans of paella and stews.

“I hope it will be a call to action to our senators and congressmen, and especially President Trump, to make sure we end this moment in the history of America where families are about to go hungry,” says Andrés in the Twitter video. “We should always come together as we the people, as Americans, Republicans and Democrats, all Americans. World Central Kitchen will be there for all Americans.”

See the full video here:

This post has been updated with additional details from World Central Kitchen.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.