It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic is not only directly affecting millions worldwide, it’s also exposing major flaws in how governments and policies work. In the US, more than 22 million people have filed for unemployment aid since President Trump declared a national emergency, showing just how severely workers, as well as businesses, were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the government issued a financial aid program to help out those struggling, many report that they still haven’t received their checks.
And while some problems are immediate, we can’t overlook the major setbacks that exist in the system. Chef and founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK), José Andrés, recently took to Twitter to share some insights on the food industry in America.
José Andrés is a chef and founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters
The man used a juxtaposition of two images taken in Idaho and San Antonio to perfectly illustrate how flawed the current system is. One picture showcases piles and piles of potatoes that were discarded by farmers because no one would buy them as the commercial demand decreased drastically following the lockdown. On the other side, however, thousands of cars could be seen lined up in front of the San Antonio food bank. As millions lost their jobs and source of income, many found themselves seeking help from food banks, which, unfortunately, were quickly overwhelmed by so many new applicants.
So how did this happen? How could two such photographs from the same country at the same time exist? That’s where Andrés steps in to explain that the food industry in America is flawed. “It’s because all along the way, we have a food supply chain that we treat as invisible when it’s working…and only notice it when it’s not,” the chef said. He added that the people behind World Central Kitchen are doing all they can to bridge the gap between the farmers and the hungry, however, Andrés also admitted that their efforts are not enough and the government had to step in.
Concluding his Twitter thread, the famous chef rallied people to make their voices be heard and encourage their representatives to take action and responsibility:
“Call your elected officials & ask what they are doing to make food part of the solution. Ask what specific legislation they are supporting to increase #SNAP, empower food banks & non profits, involve restaurants, and ensure the govt is buying from farms. Accept nothing less.”