World Central Kitchen, a charity founded by renowned chef Jose Andres, will be serving meals at Rising Hope United Methodist Church for the next four Thursdays.
The meals will be served at 3:30 p.m. at Rising Hope, which is located at 8220 Russell Road in the Mount Zephyr area (see map). Depending on the length of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rising Hope says the partnership could last longer.
“We are grateful to Chef Andrés for all of his efforts to help ensure those in need are taken care of during this crisis,” Rising Hope Pastor Keary Kincannon said in a press release. “This is going to help hundreds of people feed their families in this time of great need.”
Andres, who is credited with helping bring “small plate” Spanish cuisine to the U.S., founded a number of critically acclaimed restaurants in Washington D.C. in the 1990s and 2000s. Since then he has expanded across the country and in 2010 he started the World Central Kitchen. The WCK has grown into an organization capable of providing meals to disaster victims across the U.S. and around the globe.
World Central Kitchen says it has already served more than a million meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to its website, the group has served meals in 20 states and territories, 65 U.S. cities and seven cities in Andres’ native Spain.
Rising Hope, founded by Fort Hunt native Kincannon in 1996, has long ministered to some of the Route 1 corridor’s poorest residents. The church operates a soup kitchen six days a week and a food pantry on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The church also has a 25-bed hypothermia shelter that operates from October to March.
Rising Hope says that more than 300 families rely on its food pantry each week, and that demand has increased during the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, Rising Hope said, donations have gone down.
“Many families depend on our food pantry because their jobs do not pay enough to feed their families,” Kincannon said last month. “With jobs in jeopardy and potential lay-offs and furloughs on the horizon, the demand will only increase. This hits low-wage, hourly workers the most, and many times they have no additional resources.”