We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by José Andrés
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
We Fed an Island is famous Chef José Andrés' account of feeding the hurricane survivors of Puerto Rico in the weeks and months following Hurricane Irma and Maria's devastation of this US Territory. Unabashedly critical of the Federal Emergency Management Administration's handling of aid to the island and other US soil disasters, Andrés sings the praises of organizations which are largely unheralded providers, like the Southern Baptist Convention, of mass-scale aid. He's learned from more than a decade of providing relief and observing other organizations much that became vital in aiding our citizens in Puerto Rico.
When Andrés first arrived five days after Hurricane Maria, he managed to serve 1000 meals a day (stew and sandwiches) from a friend's restaurant. As he grasped the extent of the evolving disaster, he refused to listen to naysayers, and gradually managed through a network of local providers and his wide range of contacts to build an operation on Puerto Rico that was feeding 150,000 people a day at its height. This is a compelling story made even more engaging by Andrés' heart-felt narration of the audiobook. Regardless of your political leaning, this kind, caring man has provided sustenance in times of need for countless people. He's proven that mass scale delivery of food and water is possible and has lessons to share about how it can best be accomplished.
Andrés' World Central Kitchen continues to provide aid to the island in the form of grants for rebuilding. WCK was also on the ground in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, in California after the wildfire, and has served meals and created food delivery networks after disasters in seven countries.
We Fed an Island was my non-fiction read for the blog for the month of May. (Sigh, yes, I know, late again, but getting better!)
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