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Chef José Andrés’ relief group fed NC after one hurricane. He’s ready to do it again.

FILE - Jose Andres, a chef, stirs a giant paella pan during a food relief effort following Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 19, 2017. Andrés created a new model for providing direct relief through cooking. (Eric Rojas/The New York Times)
FILE - Jose Andres, a chef, stirs a giant paella pan during a food relief effort following Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 19, 2017. Andrés created a new model for providing direct relief through cooking. (Eric Rojas/The New York Times) NYT

José Andrés is coming to the rescue again.

The Spanish chef’s World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to areas reeling from disasters, is feeding first responders and evacuees across the North Carolina coast for the second year running, according to the organization’s posts on social media.

As Hurricane Dorian made landfall on the North Carolina coast late Thursday, the organization appeared to be ready to distribute thousands of meals.

World Central Kitchen cooked meals for first responders in Columbus County, N.C., Andrés posted on Twitter.

Zomi Franckom, the organization’s relief administration manager, said in a video on Twitter Thursday morning that the group would be catering meals to the 300 people staying in New Hanover County’s four shelters.

The organization also would be engaged in “community feeding,” providing lunch and dinner for over 1,000 people as the hurricane passes, Franckom said.

It’s not the group’s first time doing so. Volunteers with the international organization, who team up with local chefs and kitchens and distribute meals, responded ahead of and following Hurricane Florence last year.

Andrés, who traveled to Wilmington then, is in the Bahamas helping the islands recover from the destruction of Dorian. But as that deadly storm lashed the N.C. coast, the chef sent well wishes.

“To our dear friends of Wilmington, North Carolina, I hope things will be O.K. with this hurricane,” he said in a video on Twitter. “One of the best moments of my life was being there with you covering the food needs of everyone.”

Andrés, who was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018, founded the organization following a devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

But the organization is likely best known for its 2017 efforts in Puerto Rico, when Andrés and a team of World Central Kitchen Volunteers served millions of meals following Hurricane Maria. The chef received a 2018 James Beard Award for the group’s work, which lasted for weeks after the storm hit.

Kitchens used by World Central Kitchen in Raleigh and Wilmington last year had backup generators and satellite phones and could serve between 25,000 and 40,000 meals per day, The News & Observer reported last year.

Financial contributions to the program can be donated at worldcentralkitchen.org.

On Twitter, Andrés expressed his hopes for a speedy recovery in North Carolina, calling the communities in and around Wilmington “the best.”

“We love you, and I’m not there physically in person, but I’m in spirit,” he said. “Be safe, be strong and things hopefully will be O.K.”

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