Acting Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) James A. Dawson is pleased to announce José Andrés as the recipient of the 2019 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for the Washington Field Office (WFO).
The award ceremony, usually hosted by the Director of the FBI, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With sincere appreciation, WFO recognizes the compassion and outstanding service Chef Andrés provided to the National Capital Region during a difficult time.
“It seems like a lifetime ago, but in 2019, thousands of federal workers in our communities did not receive paychecks for an extended period due to the government shutdown,” said Acting ADIC Dawson. “During that time, Chef Andrés provided more than 100,000 free meals in the D.C. area alone, providing a beacon of hope for affected federal workers and their families.”
“Chef José Andrés continues to set the standard by providing resources to those battling through hard times,” Acting ADIC Dawson said. “His efforts through #Chefsforfeds assisted the federal work force during a critical moment, many from WFO. Despite the shutdown, FBI employees from WFO were deemed essential and were still working, despite not receiving a paycheck. The FBI’s mission and so many others were maintained due to his commitment and hard work. During the pandemic, we see Chef Andrés continue to do this work and help those in need, not just in our city, but around the world.”
Chef Andrés created the nonprofit World Central Kitchen to provide free meals to people affected by natural disasters in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, which killed at least 100,000 people. The group has since served more than 40 million meals, responding to disasters such as wildfires in California, a volcanic eruption in Guatemala, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Chef Andrés expanded the organization’s mission to support government employees during the government shutdown by creating #Chefsforfeds. This was a nationwide program created as a comprehensive resource center for federal workers around the United States. It included not only a food bank, which provided free meals, but also information on other programs, including D.C. Diaperbank and payment deferral programs for utility companies.
As the shutdown continued and more people were unable to maintain their normal way of life, #Chefsforfeds evolved and began providing bagged groceries in addition to hot meals. In total, more than 11,000 people were helped through the resource center along with 12,456 meal kits distributed.
The FBI’s DCLA was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in the community. Visit the FBI website for more details on Chef Andrés and the other people and organizations who have been recognized around the country for their service above and beyond the call of duty to help keep America and its kids safe.
For questions regarding the FBI’s Community Outreach Program, visit www.fbi.gov.