(Washington, DC) – Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS) announced today that Chefs for Puerto Rico, a World Central Kitchen initiative, will receive the Public Service Award at the 2018 American Latino Influencer Awards (ALIAs) ceremony for its work alleviating hunger in Puerto Rico following devastation from Hurricane Maria that lingers to this very day. The award celebrates Latino and Latina leadership and vision in tackling challenges in communities throughout the country, and the Chefs for Puerto Rico movement has embodied the spirit of the award through its creative and innovative approach to disaster relief. Alexandra Garcia, Chief Program Officer at World Central Kitchen, along with Chefs for Puerto Rico team members Chef Jesus Serrano, Chef at minibar and Alexsandra Ortiz, Think Food Group, will accept the award on behalf of Chefs for Puerto Rico at the ceremony on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

World Central Kitchen, founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, is a non-profit of chefs committed to creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty. Just days after Hurricane Maria destroyed essential infrastructure and power sources on the island in September of 2017, Andrés and the World Central Kitchen team arrived in Puerto Rico to cook meals and mobilize networks of emergency kitchens, food trucks, and partner organizations to make sure that communities in need received quality meals. Since their arrival, the Chefs for Puerto Rico movement has provided over 3.7 million meals throughout every municipality in Puerto Rico, operating 25 kitchens through the help of over 20,000 volunteers.

“After the storm, World Central Kitchen saw first hand the tremendous destruction caused by Hurricane Maria and recognized the need for a creative solution to minimize further casualties due to limited access to food and malnutrition,” said Estuardo Rodriguez, Executive Director of FRIENDS. “In a time when the residents across Puerto Rico needed it most, Chef José Andrés and the entire Chefs for Puerto Rico team worked tirelessly to provide relief for millions, showing true leadership and vision in public service. The American Latino community has always played a strong role in developing innovative solutions to global challenges, and with this award we celebrate that legacy in Chefs for Puerto Rico’s exceptional work.”

Presented by Target, the ALIA’s recognizes Latinos and Latinas who have had a significant impact on our nation’s culture and society and whose stories are representative of the contributions of our community throughout history. The awards also receive generous support from Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc, AARP, and Warner Media.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at The Intercontinental Hotel, 801 Wharf St., SW, Washington, D.C. 20024. To attend, purchase tickets for the event here. For more information on the ALIAs and FRIENDS, please visit https://americanlatinomuseum.org/.