Food

José Andrés’s #ChefsForFeds Continues to Feed Federal Workers Nationwide

The shutdown kitchen program extended across 22 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico.
At the kitchen's original DC location. Photograph by Evy Mages

Humanitarian chef José Andrés’ shutdown kitchen—a World Central Kitchen project known as #ChefsForFeds—will continue to provide meals for federal workers and their families nationwide through Feb. 1. Since the operation’s launch last week, volunteers have served more than 50,000 meals at the flagship Pennsylvania Avenue locale. 

Following Donald Trump‘s announcement the government will be re-opening for the next three weeks, Andrés responded with an announcement of his own. In a Twitter video at the site of the original shutdown kitchen, the celebrity chef committed to keeping the Pennsylvania Ave. cafe open until next Friday. The extended timeline will ensure federal employees can continue utilizing WCK’s resources until they receive a paycheck. While the organization is encouraging participating restaurants across the country to remain open, the decision ultimately lies with the businesses themselves.

“Obviously, we’re going to be watching what happens this next three weeks. If for some reason things go wrong again, we will be there for them,”Andrés says in the video. 

World Central Kitchen’s  list of #ChefsForFeds locations includes 22 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico. Participating restaurants range from national chains like Sweetgreen to small local businesses such as Florida’s Dovalina Food Truck. In Puerto Rico, Andrés opened 25 kitchens to serve over 3 million meals after Hurricane Maria. On its first day participating in the initiative, the island’s #ChefForFeds partners served 160 meals to Homeland Security employees and 200 lunches to TSA agents. 

The expansion campaign has also caught the attention of celebrity chefs: Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA Restaurant in Louisana and Andrew Zimmern’s Lucky Cricket in Minnesota are partnering with the program.

On Monday, Jan. 21, the shutdown cafe expanded to a second location in the District. Broccoli Bar, a joint venture between &pizza and music festival Broccoli City, partnered with World Central Kitchen to open a Shaw location (1817 Seventh St., NW). Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Avenue kitchen is also the site of a resource center—open from 9 AM to 5 PM—that supplies essentials like diapers, feminine hygiene products, and pet food. On its opening day, the resource center served about 1,500 government workers and their families.

In addition to overseeing the shutdown relief kitchens, Andrés has been providing free sandwiches to furloughed employees at his DC restaurants for all 32 days of the shutdown. Even the horses got an apple treat when World Central Kitchen delivered meals to the park police this weekend. 

See Andrés’s announcement video here:

This post has been updated from an earlier version to reflect new information about the shutdown ending. 

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Columbia Heights.