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Giving Tuesday: Chef José Andrés and the CEO of the Capital Area Food Talk About Food Insecurity in the Nation’s Capital, Receive $50,000 from AWS

On Giving Tuesday, leaders came together to discuss food insecurity in our region.

Chef José Andrés of World Central Kitchen and Radha Muthiah, CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank, held a discussion on Giving Tuesday about food insecurity in our area. The virtual event was moderated by Teresa Carlson, VP of Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services (AWS). The discussion centered on food insecurity in the Washington area and how Andrés’s and Muthiah’s organizations are helping address growing needs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrés called for a national food council: “Food should be treated as a national-security issue the same way our President and leaders around the world have generals next to them to recommend the right defenses. We should start having … food experts so that decisions are made in investing in the right solutions.”

The conversation touched on many topics, from the growing number of first-time food recipients to how these organizations use technology to track needs during the Covid-19 crisis. Muthiah explained how the Capital Area Foodbank distributes more than 45 million pounds of food to its 450 partners in our area using technology. “We have a hunger heat map for the entire region that highlights exactly the different levels of food insecurity down to the census-track level. ” She went on to explain that for clients who need food, the Capital Area Food Bank website has a “Get Help” button in which a user can put in a Zip code and find food service providers nearby as well as connect to other local social services.

Andrés shared advice he received from one of his very first customers at Jaleo when he arrived here from Spain, the late senator Daniel Patrick Moyinhan: “If you love America, America will love you back.”

America has certainly loved him back and did so on Giving Tuesday. During the event, Carlson announced that AWS would be making a donations of $25,000 each to the Capital Area Food Bank, World Central Kitchen, and Share Our Strength, for a total of $75,000. That money will provide more than 150,000 meals for people in need.

If you’re interested in making your own donation to help these organizations, you can find the links to donate here:
Capital Area Food Bank
World Central Kitchen

To read more about how AWS is responding to the COVID-19 crisis click here.

Missed the event? Check out some highlights here!

José Andrés on Helping Restaurants Reopen

What’s the best way to help food organizations right now?

How to Use Data and Hunger Heat Maps to Help Get Food to Those in Need

How Data Helps Deliver 45 Million Pounds of Food a Year for the Capital Area Food Bank

José Andrés on Using Technology: How He Uses Credit Cards in Emergencies

José Andrés on Technology Solutions to Help Food Insecurity

Full Discussion

Thank you to AWS for supporting the event!