'We Feed People' documents Celebrity Chef Jose Andres humanitarian mission

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Thursday, May 26, 2022
'We Feed People' documents celebrity chefs humanitarian mission
Sandy Kenyon has a preview of "We Feed People" which shows how chef Jose Andres' non-profit organization responds to disasters all over the world.

Jose Andres is a celebrity chef who was born in Spain but built a restaurant empire here in the U.S., but in recent years, he has also focused on being a humanitarian.

He recently flew to Ukraine to serve tens of millions of meals to local residents after the Russian invasion, and a new movie, "We Feed People," shows how the non-profit organization he started, World Central Kitchen, responds to disasters all over the world.

The movie was produced by National Geographic Documentary Films and is streaming now on Disney+.

The documentary was directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, and Hillary Clinton was among those attending the premiere earlier this month in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

"What I learned, frankly, as a filmmaker is what I think audiences can learn," Howard said. "To understand what a difference can be made by any small measure of commitment."

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Chef Andres began his humanitarian missions when he volunteered his services to residents of Haiti after an especially devastating earthquake there in 2010.

"There is no food, no water," one citizen shown in the film cries, and "We Feed People" shows how Andres grew his non-profit from there -- often putting his own life at risk.

"The mission is clear: We want to feed people," said Andres, who had just returned from Ukraine. "I arrived there like 24 hours after the war began. World Central Kitchen began feeding 12 hours after. Sixty-five days later, almost 20 million meals, we're doing between 350,000 and 400,000 meals a day."

It all came right after a pandemic pivot by the group shown in Howard's movie.

"They scaled up their operation in a remarkable way," he said. "They recruited more people. They activated beyond anything they'd ever done before."

The cost of this is obvious in the film.

Andres' frustration and anger are evident, and he admitted these were the toughest parts of the film for him to watch.

But despite this, "We Feed People" is definitely an heroic story.

"We show that big problems have very simple solutions," Andres said. "And sometimes a plate of food is the way to start bringing hope."

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Camera crews followed him for year, and he says there were definitely times after a disaster when he became irritated and told those teams stop filming.

"Put down your equipment, and help us feed these people," he said.

The documentary is from National Geographic Documentary Films and airs on Disney+.

Both are owned by the same parent company as this ABC station.