We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time
In the days and months following the devastation left by hurricane Maria in 2017, chef José Andrés and his fellow chefs worked tirelessly to mobilize large-scale, on-the-ground disaster relief on the storm-tossed island of Puerto Rico by transforming their professional kitchens into highly efficient, much-needed food distribution centers. Calling for smaller, more localized aid organization, Andrés asks for a reform of our disaster relief philosophies in the hopes that failures like those seen in Puerto Rico in the wake of Maria can be avoided in the future.
Andrés’s tale of chefs coming together to feed up to one hundred thousand people per day in the ruins of hurricane Maria is, without doubt, an inspiring tale of compassion, service, and the power of dedication and community. Underneath the inspiration, however, lies a frustration-inducing look at government and non-profit interference, apathy, mismanagement, and ineffectiveness—ineffectiveness, it’s suggested, that directly harmed the recovery and relief of the people of Puerto Rico. Part food memoir, part critical examination of the role of NGOs and government aid in disaster relief, Andrés’s We Fed an Island is a fascinating, and alternately hopeful and frustrating, look at one of most devastating natural disasters in recent memory.
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