Why (San Juan) Puerto Rico?
San Juan is a city where old and new collide. While the new city is marked with sleek hotels and combed beaches, the old city enchants with its rainbow of pastel-painted homes. Cobblestone streets carry the scents of cooking ropa vieja and freshly baked pan de Mallorca throughout the town. Once steadfast fortresses overlook the aquamarine Carribean and remind visitors of a time well before the arrival of cruise ships and the new city across the bridge.
Why World Central Kitchen?
I first came across World Central Kitchen in my daily newsfeed, and once I saw the story, I began seeing it everywhere. WCK was founded 10 years ago by Spanish-American chef José Andrés and his wife, Patricia, 10 years ago to “create smart solutions to hunger and poverty.” Little did he know that in 2017, his small organization would save the lives of countless victims of Hurricane Maria, feeding 75,000 people per day in just one location. Known as “Food First Responders”, the chefs and volunteers of World Central Kitchen served hot meals to those in need all over the island, from its central cities to its remote towns. Puerto Rico is on its way to recovery, and even though WCK responds to disasters all over the world, it has kept a presence in Puerto Rico. During its relief work on the island, Andrés and his team had the insight that in order to respond quickly and sufficiently to natural disasters, Puerto Rico must strengthen its relationships with smallholder farms. This is why the Plow to Plate program was founded: to increase food security in Puerto Rico by providing funding, training, and networking opportunities to smallholder farmers and businesses that support local agriculture.
Join me on my journey to support World Central Kitchen and its mission of disaster relief through cooking in Puerto Rico.