Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen to Receive the 2021 Goodermote Humanitarian Award

Chef and restaurateur José Andrés and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen will receive the 2021 Goodermote Humanitarian Award from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for Humanitarian Health in recognition of their work to feed communities hard hit by natural and other disasters around the world. The award supports training and education at the Bloomberg School and honors alumni commitment to humanitarian health.

“Through profound acts of compassion and generosity across the world, Chef Andrés has set the example for all others to follow,” said Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM, dean of the Bloomberg School. “For more than a decade, through many remarkable and selfless works, Chef Andrés and the World Central Kitchen have created smart approaches to addressing hunger and poverty for people in need following natural disasters, famine, conflict, a global pandemic, and other crises. We cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the Goodermote Award.”

Andrés first made humanitarian headlines in 2010 when he and the World Central Kitchen traveled to post-earthquake Haiti to feed those whose lives were upended by the disaster. The group remains active there. In the decade since founding World Central Kitchen, the non-profit has created a new model for disaster response through its work helping devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. World Central Kitchen has served more than 50 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world in countries including The Bahamas, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Venezuela, and the United States. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, the World Central Kitchen served almost four million meals there despite the lack of electricity and potable water.

Andrés has since expanded outreach to refugees, including displaced families in Gaza and asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most recently, during a massive COVID-19 wave in disease-ravaged India, the World Central Kitchen served up more than 600,000 meals to front-line medical workers. Andrés was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize and, in 2018 and 2012, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” “Without empathy, nothing works,” Andrés told TIME.

The efforts of Andrés and the World Central Kitchen go well beyond feeding the hungry. They have also built school kitchens, distributed clean cookstoves, provided culinary training, and formed social enterprise ventures—such as a fish-processing plant in Haiti—that empower people and strengthen economies through skills-building and jobs.

The 2021 Goodermote Humanitarian Award Scholarship will be presented to Eva Leidman, MSPH, an epidemiologist in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Response and Recovery Branch. She is also an associate with the Center for Humanitarian Health. Her work focuses on methods to measure the severity of natural disasters, complex emergencies, and the humanitarian response to them with a focus on emergency nutrition and war-related injuries. She received her Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is currently a PhD candidate.

The Goodermote Humanitarian Award will be presented to José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen for their work using food to empower communities and strengthen economies, acting on their philosophy that food is a powerful tool to heal people in times of crisis and beyond. Chef José Andres will join Paul Spiegel, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, at an event to discuss the need for organizations like World Central Kitchen in times of conflict and disaster. The discussion, at 5:30 p.m., EDT, on June 17, 2021, will be moderated by Soledad O'Brien.

Founded in 1998, the Center for Humanitarian Health is a joint initiative with the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the schools of Medicine and Nursing. It is based in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School. The Center includes 68 faculty members from across the Johns Hopkins community in a global effort to save lives and reduce human suffering, particularly for populations affected by conflict and natural disasters. During the pandemic, the Center worked to better understand the implications and slow the spread of COVID-19 in under-resourced nations such as Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.

The Goodermote Humanitarian Award was endowed in 2008 by computer software entrepreneur Dean Goodermote and his family. Goodermote served as chair of the Center for Humanitarian Health’s advisory committee from 2006 to 2020 and has served on the Bloomberg School’s Health Advisory Board since 2005. Previous recipients of the Goodermote Humanitarian Award include Emmy-winning actor Sam Waterston, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, and NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo. The Goodermote family also established the scholarship for students studying international health.

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