This is an alert seeking Chef Volunteers willing to work in field kitchens in Haiti.
Over the past 72 hours I’ve been networking with:
U.N. World Food Programme
American Culinary Federation
FohBoh (Michael Atkinson, CEO)
Share Our Strength (Billy Shore, Deb Shore and Ashley Graham)
People Report (Joni Doolin, CEO)
Fast Casual (Paul Barron, CEO)
U.S. Department of Defense (Col. David Lapan, USMC, Chief Public Affairs Officer)
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps (Lt. Col. Samuel Russell, QM, Chief of Commanding Generals Office)
Sodexo (USA and China)
I’ve had direct conversations with the above entities. Some of these conversations have led to this call being shared with the Executive Board of the National Restaurant Association, McDonalds Corporate Office, Chefs for Humanity and the U.S. White House Office of the First Lady.
The next two to three weeks in Haiti will see prepackaged ready-to-eat meals being distributed. Then, transition will occur to actual food preparation in the field. The field will be extremely challenging.
Specifics have not been solidified at this time – but I encourage anyone interested in volunteering to leave a comment here to this blogpost.
Please read comments for Updates (I’m updating in the comment section as developments occur)
Announcement: If you are a Chef that can volunteer for Haiti or might be able too, please leave a comment so we can get back to you.
The chefs and restaurateurs of the USA, particularly those affected by Hurricane Katrina, offer vast management experience in efficiently feeding large numbers of people. We’ve demonstrated this ability to hit the ground running, quickly take collaborative command of culinary management (in partnership with various government and NGO organizations) and lend our significant skill and financial resources in a large scale humanitarian response.
The combined networks of the National Restaurant Association (including its partner state hospitality organizations), the American Culinary Federation, Share Our Strength, and other entities such as FohBoh.com (largest social network for the industry), Nation’s Restaurant News and Fast Casual – represent the ability to quickly notify and mobilize volunteers and donors.
The sheer scale of the earthquake disaster in Haiti will require mass-feeding on a scale similar to the needs facing the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I believe there are numerous talented professionals that would be willing to respond to an organized response in the field.
I also believe there are logisticians who can quickly coordinate such an effort, facilitating organization, placement and distribution of Disaster Culinary Teams in Haiti.
Much as SAR Disaster teams are fielded, the restaurant industry in the US has the ability to provide critically needed knowledge and practical experience, in addition to the financial generosity this industry is particularly known for.
Initial Actions Taken
I’ve contacted the following and have received immediate and positive feedback:
Office of First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House – waiting on a callback.
People Report, Joni Doolin, CEO
FohBoh.com, Michael Atkinson, CEO (largest social network for the restaurant industry)
Fast Casual Alliance, Paul Barron, CEO