José Andrés Just Gave Another Warning About The Ukraine Crisis

Since the onset of Russia's war on Ukraine in February, volunteers from around the world have lent their time — and, in some cases, their lives — by bringing hot meals and other essential services to those in need. At the helm of one of the most prolific emergency meal programs is José Andrés, the Spanish-American chef and humanitarian behind the nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK). His culinary and cultural impact and efforts to aid those in need earned him the National Humanities Medal in 2016 (per the National Endowment for the Humanities). The WCK has provided more than 130 million meals to Ukrainians in the past six months (via Reuters).

Even after a World Central Kitchen location in Kharkiv was bombed in April, the volunteers set up shop at another location in the city to continue their mission (via Twitter). And in the days that followed, Andrés tweeted about the organization's work in Kyiv. As the war continues to devastate Ukraine and its people, Andrés told Reuters that he's calling on countries to unite with Ukraine by supporting WCK as a harsh winter looms.

Resources are running out

Speaking from a World Central Kitchen setup in Irpin, Ukraine, José Andrés told Reuters that the organization needs the support of "all the countries that want to support Ukraine." He warned of a brutal winter ahead, adding, "If everybody is doing their own thing, we may be doubling efforts, wasting money, not helping Ukraine." While WCK originally had $250 million allocated for its services in Ukraine, the war has not let up, and Andrés didn't realize how long his team would be needed. "The cash is sooner or later going to start finishing," he said.

While Ukrainians have reclaimed Irpin from Russian control, the area is still "well within range for Russian artillery," per CNN. The debris and shattered buildings that line the suburb are a sign of the destruction that continues to occur in other parts of the country, including a fatal attack near Europe's largest nuclear power plant, per The New York Times. If these attacks continue, Andrés' kitchens will need all the support they can get.