Chef José Andrés, Cruise Lines Mobilize to Help the Bahamas

The celebrated chef’s World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to those in need, is working to help feed people displaced by Hurricane Dorian.

Chef José Andrés, Cruise Lines Mobilize to Help the Bahamas

Royal Caribbean’s “Empress of the Seas” left Miami just a couple days after the storm moved away from the Bahamas with the supplies needed to prepare thousands of meals for people on the islands.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

It didn’t take long for Chef José Andrés to jump into action to aid in recovery efforts in the Bahamas following the devastation unleashed on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama by Hurricane Dorian.

Dorian tore through Abaco and Grand Bahama over Labor Day weekend, releasing torrential rains and winds that gusted up to 185 miles per hour. The storm reportedly killed 30 people and wiped out entire communities in the northern Bahamas, while sparing much of New Providence, including the capital of Nassau, neighboring Paradise Island, Eleuthera, and Andros, as well as the islands in the southeastern and central Bahamas.

Andrés and his World Central Kitchen team, which provides meals to those in need, landed in Abaco on the day after Labor Day, making them one of the first relief teams on the ground there. Since then, they have been bringing meals from Nassau, 80 miles away, by way of several helicopter trips each day, and serving them to people who have been impacted by the storm.

In its most recent online update, World Central Kitchen said the team is now delivering 20,000 meals per day in Abaco, Grand Bahamas, and Nassau. For those interested in helping, World Central Kitchen has established a donation page for its food relief efforts.

Bahama Paradise Cruise Line has been on a humanitarian mission as well. Its ship the Grand Celebration helped evacuate more than 1,000 residents of the Bahamas to Florida in the aftermath of Dorian.

The cruise line has also established a relief effort to support shipments of supplies, personnel, generators, and volunteer workers to the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean International has also pledged to help, committing $1 million to Hurricane Dorian disaster relief and setting up a disaster relief fund. The company is matching all donations up to $500,000. Part of its commitment includes a promise to provide 20,000 meals every day. To do so, the cruise line’s Empress of the Seas traveled to the Bahamas with the supplies needed to prepare thousands of meals.

Numerous additional vessels in the Royal Caribbean fleet will stop in Freeport on Grand Bahama island to deliver meals, the company stated. The cruise line is also offering people on Grand Bahama the opportunity to use its vessels to evacuate.

Carnival Corporation is now accepting global emergency relief donations and supplies and shipping them to the Bahamas. Carnival (which is made up of nine cruise line brands, including Seabourn, Cunard, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises) will cover shipping costs for the program and is providing containers of ready-to-eat food, bottled water, and generators. Carnival’s philanthropic arm, the Carnival Foundation, pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts.

Disney Cruise Line also jumped in with a pledge of more than $1 million of support for victims of Hurricane Dorian.

>> Next: Devastated by Dorian, These Bahamas Airports and Resorts Remain Closed

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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