Jeff Bezos has been catching plenty of flack for his 11-minute space flight that took him 66.5 miles above the earth, but it seems like his trip into the heavens has at least encouraged the billionaire to give a little back. Following his flight on the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, Bezos announced a $100 million award to José Andrés, renowned chef and co-founder of World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that helps feed and support people in disaster-stricken areas around the world.
“I’m really grateful for this award, and the incredible support from Jeff and the entire Bezos family,” said Andrés in a statement. “World Central Kitchen was born from the simple idea that food has the power to create a better world. A plate of food is a plate of hope. It’s the fastest way to rebuild lives and communities.”
The prize is part of a newly created Courage and Civility Award that recognizes people who are working on solutions to global issues. Bezos also awarded $100 million to CNN contributor and founder of Dream Corps Van Jones.
Andrés is a former El Bulli chef who cooks at a high level of sophistication in the more than 30 restaurants he owns and runs. He founded World Central Kitchen to respond to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In 2017, the organization earned global attention for its work in Puerto Rico, where it served more than 4 million meals after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Most recently, team members have been helping flood victims in Germany.
Accepting the award from Bezos, Andrés said the money will help World Central Kitchen expand its mission, from responding to disasters to tackling systemic hunger. He said he wanted to see food aid around the world double and to change the way 3 billion people cook their food.
“We will be there with our boots on the ground when disaster strikes,” Andrés said. “But we will shoot for the stars, fighting hunger and the causes of hunger.”
For more information on World Central Kitchen, head over to its official website.