Jose Andres: The Sussexes ‘are very good people…they always show up’

One of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first charitable partnerships was with Jose Andres and the World Central Kitchen. I’ve actually lost count of how much the Sussexes have donated and how many crisis-center kitchens they’ve financed, but it’s a lot. When Russia forces began invading Ukraine, the World Central Kitchen was on the ground within a day, feeding Ukrainian refugees and opening up food centers in Kyiv to help the internally displaced people fighting for their lives and their country. Jose Andres has a lengthy new interview with People Magazine about the work WCK is doing on the ground, and he says amazing things about the Sussexes too:

Andres on the Sussexes’ contributions: “It is a blessing,” says chef José Andrés, 52, founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to feeding communities negatively impacted by humanitarian crises which partnered with Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation in Dec. 2020. “I love them. I have been able to spend time with them, working with them and they are very hands-on and highly knowledgeable of what’s happening in the world, what the issues are, and what the needs are. For me, it is a pleasure to call them friends. All my life I have been trying to learn what exactly we are missing because why is there still hunger? What are we missing? We have to make the most of the opportunities of goodness, and I believe that with people like Meghan and Harry, we can make it happen.”

WCK was on the ground on the Ukrainian border in 12 hours: “We are an organization that goes and does things. We got the first kitchen up and running within 12 hours. We began in Poland and then went into Lviv and Kyiv. The majority is hot food, but sandwiches occupy a very important role in all of our operations too,” continues Andrés about the operation, which has transported an incredible 5.25 million lb. of food to eastern Europe via air, rail, and road. “They taste great, are packed with calories, are easy to carry, and children love them. They are good for the elderly too, as sometimes they have issues with special dietary restrictions. They can be ham or turkey or vegetarian because there’s a lot of different types of people, and we try to cover everything. And we make them very moist, especially for the elderly.”

Russians are targeting civilians: “We move quickly,” explains Andrés about their safety measures. “One of our people was delivering in Kharkiv at the train station and a missile hit 100 meters from where he was. I was also in Lviv driving away with my daughter and around an hour, later a missile hit the exact same spot we had been. At the end of the day the guys and myself, we are alone in the front. Nobody is going to come and rescue us. But the decision is ours. Especially in the Russian occupied territories, it is a bit dangerous, so you have to be super careful with that.”

He is in it for the long-haul: Andrés and his team are committed to helping Ukraine for as long as it takes. “For us, this is not a 100 meters, this is a marathon,” he tells PEOPLE. For this, he is immensely grateful for the support of all his organization’s workers, volunteers and supporters, Harry and Meghan included. “It was very refreshing the first time I met them,” Andrés continues about the couple. “They contacted me and said, ‘We want to be a partner with you.’ For me, it is amazing. They are very good people. Let me put it this way. When we need them, they always show up.”

[From People]

I’m including some of Jose’s videos on the ground in Ukraine, all of which made me cry. He tells people to take more food than they need, for their families, for their neighbors. He tells them that he will be back tomorrow. He holds them when they cry. It’s incredibly moving. Bless all of the chefs working on the ground to ensure that people are getting meals in this war. And bless all of the people, including the Sussexes, who are ensuring that World Central Kitchen has the funding to pull this off.

Photo and videos courtesy of Jose’s IG.

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72 Responses to “Jose Andres: The Sussexes ‘are very good people…they always show up’”

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  1. Ktae says:

    Watching his videos has brought me to tears. Bless this man and the work he does.

    • SarahCS says:

      I was crying without even watching it but I have donated. This is what I wonder about in war zones, how are people eating and drinking, how do they get medicines? If the water is off and you can’t flush toilets how do you avoid having major health issues?

      The work they do is amazing.

      • Gillysirl says:

        He is actually out there making it happen. Not talking about it or “sending thoughts and prayers”. He makes it happen. We need more people like him.

        I heard a documentary is being released of WCK and found this:

      • Jan90067 says:

        WCK was the very first donation I made for Ukraine, with as many others as I could at the time. I have made WCK a monthly donation as there, sadly, will always be a need for now, whether in Ukraine (and neighboring countries taking in refugees), and natural disasters (that won’t stop because of war).

        This man is truly a saint, as are his workers.

      • lucy2 says:

        WCK is usually the first donation I make when anything happens – they mobilize so fast, and have been at every natural disaster or humanitarian crisis in recent memory.
        I really loved how they partnered with local restaurants during the pandemic too, they provided help on so many levels.

      • Traveller says:

        I join you in saying that WCK is the first donation I make in a crisis. Jose Andres and the people in his organization are the epitome of what we should be admiring and aspiring to as humans and as a society.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’m reading this post late, but my goodness, I cried along with every other reader of this site & am now off to donate as well. We need more Chef Andres in this world and more WCFs.

    • May Bench says:

      I bet the British non royal family haven’t donated nor has the Prince’s trust donated. But wonderful Harry and Meghan have and continue to support great Jose and his food aid. This tells me who really is royal and who isn’t. Meanwhile Baldy and skinny are
      much too busy skiing to ever be concerned with the plight of Ukraine and its people. They and drunk Charles and his side piece are too busy drinking to care.

  2. Lolo86lf says:

    I would expect nothing less from Harry and Meghan who have both outer and inner beauty. They are two kindred souls and I do wonder how the British tabloids would spin a story like this into something negative or shady at the very least about the Sussexes.

    • Marleigh says:

      They just won’t cover it.

    • Isabella says:

      I really like what Jose said about how he helps people. “We are an organization that goes and does things.” This makes me think that H&M were right to head for the U.S. where they can plan their own initiatives and get a lot more done every year.

      • BeanieBean says:

        The petty in me just can’t help contrasting that with William’s ‘smiles & good wishes’, or whatever the heck it was. Doing is not his thing. He & his wife do not understand the meaning of the word ‘service’. H&M do.

  3. Pinkosaurus says:

    This is so lovely and he is doing an unbelievable amount of good in the world. I’ve donated a few times in the past couple months, and I’m happy to hear it’s trusted by Archewell because they do their homework.

  4. Petra says:

    Please continue to donate whatever amount you can to WCK. Chef Jose Andres is an amazing soul and he’s really funny. If you want to laugh your head off, listen to the June 2021 episode #50 of the Smartless podcast.

    • sunny says:

      One of my favourite episodes!

      • Petra says:

        Me too @sunny. Every time I listen to it, I laugh as hard as I did the very first time I’d listened.

    • Denise says:

      Thank you for sharing this, I’m listening to this now and he’s such a gem!

    • jennifer romans says:

      I donated today, what Chef Andres is doing is so admirable, he is an amazing man.
      Too bad the British Press can’t see the good that Harry and Megan are doing. Such pettiness in the face of all that’s going on in the world.

  5. Eurydice says:

    It’s heartbreaking – bless them all.

  6. Jan says:

    Actions speak louder than words.
    The BM is always laughing at Archewell funds and yet the Foundation is funding so many charities, just this week they gave 4 or 6 media/Internet funds.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    It looks like something out of WWI or WWII. Like I’m watching Fiddler on the Roof. This war is so upsetting with all those civilian casualties and for what? Putin is Hitler in this case. Using Hitler’s playbook, which Trump would also be using if he were still in power (or regains it). Even if Ukraine is not part of NATO, the entire world must step in and stop him.

  8. Cessily says:

    Instead of a big Easter meal and baskets of chocolate this year I made a donation to world kitchen. Bless them all.

    • madameX says:

      This is a brilliant idea. I think we’ll follow suit.

    • Petra says:

      Yay! Blessings to you.

    • Miranda says:

      My family has a long tradition, started by my grandpa (who fled Italy when Mussolini came to power) and step-grandma (a Russian Jew who managed to escape the Soviet Union) back in the 1940s, of charging guests to attend their interfaith Seder, and donating the money to help their fellow refugees, wherever they may be in the world. This year, the proceeds are going to WCK for Ukraine. We’ve also canceled our Easter plans in favor of donating what we would’ve spent to OutRight’s fund to help queer Ukrainian refugees.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      What a wonderful idea! I donate to WCK monthly, but I may do an extra one just as you have suggested instead of buying a big ham!

  9. Connie says:

    This is what the British and European royals should be doing! But they can’t because they like things the way they are.

  10. Merricat says:

    Frankly, I think Putin was planning to have Trump in office to back him up. The fact that Biden won changed everything, but by then, Putin had already committed to the invasion.
    Thank all that is good that we’re not in that position today. And thank all that is good that there are still people in the world who want to make a difference. Laugh at the Sussexes if your soul is a dried up raisin, but know that their work saves lives.

    • Truthiness says:

      I agree, Trump was likely to withdraw from Nato, he’d already been whining about it non stop. Trump also had an extreme distrust with the CIA and it went both ways. Info was witheld from Trump, especially the small training missions in Ukraine.

  11. Trina says:

    What an amazing man. Those videos are heart rending. And the danger he and his team put themselves in.

  12. Crowhood says:

    This is a beautiful human.

  13. Mina_Esq says:

    Bless him and his team. It’s amazing when actual chefs organize food deliveries. Trust me, getting a can of spam, block of feta cheese, expired pasta, and powdered milk from the Red Cross is not as exciting. He has given these people a bright spot in an otherwise dark day.

  14. EMF999 says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting this amazing organization. I stumbled upon the work they are doing at the beginning of the war and it just knocked my socks off. People like Chef Jose are living saints.

  15. Concern Fae says:

    This guy is so smart. There are restaurants with kitchens everywhere. Also industrial kitchens at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, anywhere with a cafeteria. Restaurant workers are used to working hard and showing up for each other. Being able to plug into that network, as well as follow up with remote kitchens of your own, is just brilliant. And Chef Andre is obviously an enormously hearted person and a great leader.

  16. Sofia says:

    Damn, this is some really high praise. You can tell he absolutely loves working with them and that they’re very hands on. Not a surprise to us but it’s still nice to hear positive things. And the WCK is so wonderful. Chef Andres has done such good work and I truly hope it expands further than it already has.

  17. Giddy says:

    Andres is a modern day saint and it’s perfect that he and H&M have linked up. I am amazed by his team and their movements in a war zone, their pipeline of food, and their generosity. He said that when needed, the Sussexes always show up. Has anyone ever made such a statement about W&K?

  18. Likeyoucare says:

    And the other brother can only offer a smile.

  19. FHMom says:

    Thank God for people like chef Jose and all the people who work with him. The Ukrainians are suffering so much. And when Jose says H&M are good people, he knows first hand of their goodness.

  20. Anony83 says:

    I’ve been giving to WCK regularly since they started. They’re revolutionizing food aid and it is remarkable what they’ve achieved.

    Bless the people of Ukraine today.

  21. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. Because of this post I became aware of this organization and I made a donation.

  22. Mrs. Smith says:

    Jose’s stories from Ukraine are so beautiful. He drives himself into dangerous areas to deliver hot meals to those in need. No wonder H&M support his work. He and his organization are amazing and selfless. It’s heartwarming during such a bleak time.

  23. MellyMel says:

    Been a fan of chef Jose for some time now and the work he and WCK do. I love that H&M are friends with him and have worked with his org. There are some truly good people in the world.

  24. InVain says:

    I love him. I am lucky because I live right down the road from DC and several of his restaurants. Not only is he a superb human being – his food is AMAZING. This has nothing to do with the post but I could REALLY go for one of his marinated beet burgers right now.

    • kirk says:

      First became aware of World Central Kitchen in 2019 when they started feeding furloughed government workers during longest government shutdown caused by donald’s fit of vengeful pique. Lots of government workers are not well paid. Love Jose Andres and all his people. I really appreciated their public gesture and have supported them since. Not surprised that M&H do too.

  25. Cathy says:

    A little something I noticed in some of the photos… with the food they were also giving forks. If your whole home was gone, blown to pieces then quite possibly that means everything in the kitchen has gone. To me that is so thoughtful, provide a meal plus something to eat it with.

    Bless this man and the people working with him.

  26. thaisajs says:

    Jose lives here in DC and honestly I don’t know how he finds time to do all that he does. He’s truly one of the most generous people on the planet, with his time, his money and his leadership. His restaurants are also amazing and if you have a chance to go to the original Jaleo in DC, it’s so so worth it.

    • KS says:

      Also in DC and can confirm Andres is extremely beloved in this area. So obviously I was fans of the Sussexes already but if he says they’re amazing I 100% believe it.

      One of my favorite DC moments was being at the Nats game when they picked Andres to throw out the first pitch to thumb their nose at Trump.

      Also – Andres did some of the food research and staging for Hannibal, which was an amazing show.

  27. Scal says:

    When I lived in DC his resturant Jaleo was one of my favorites. Such amazing food! And knowing it’s coming from a good person to makes it even better

  28. VivaAviva says:

    I’m tearing up. Honk for the Sussexes, but also HONK for Andrés and the WCK. What a life that man is living. Bless him and his colleagues.

  29. Over it says:

    It’s really nice to read really thoughtful kind deeds of others.

  30. Lululu says:

    This man deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

  31. MissMarirose says:

    I first became aware of Chef Andres when he appeared in Anthony Bourdain’s show. I’d like to think that, if he were still here, Tony would be right there with him. What a wonderful and generous man Jose Andres is.

  32. Jill says:

    Thanks for reminding us about this wonderful organization! I’m pretty over humanity most days, but this gives me hope. I’ve learned about several great organizations to support through your articles!

  33. ACB says:

    Chef Jose Andres also showed up big time for my city, Newark NJ, when the pandemic hit. He arranged to pay local restaurants to make meals for people who were without food – for over a year! He is amazing.

  34. Crowned Huntress says:

    I adore Chef Jose Andres it takes a massive heart to create such an impactful and powerful initiative. Wherever there’s trouble he and his team shows up to nourish those in need.
    I really hope that one day Harry and Meghan do a documentary telling his story and maybe even create an Archewell award/scholarship program to help train young chefs to do similar work in their communities.

  35. Tiffany:) says:

    Chef Andres is doing such amazing work. I am astounded at how good he is at filling this need, no matter where it arises and in what challenging conditions (war, hurricanes, pandemic). He’s so inspirational.

  36. Eggbert says:

    So heartwarming ❤️

  37. Twinkle says:

    He is an incredible human. Simple as that.

  38. Sofia in TX says:

    I requested donations to WCK for Christmas and my last birthday, and people donated. I don’t need more stuff, and everyone felt good about donating. It was a win-win-win.

  39. bisynaptic says:

    This is wonderful. Andres is a hero, as well as a great cook. I wonder who is doing this in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen…