The natural disasters that have affected the lives of so many in this country have brought out so much goodness in others. Celebrities and the everyday man and woman have done their part, providing aid to the survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the evacuees of the California wildfires.
One celebrity chef was actually forced to abandon his home in Sonoma County, but rather than feel sorry for himself and his situation, he did what he loves to do best: cook.
Guy Fieri talked about how quickly he and his wife had to leave their Santa Rosa home: “The smoke was really bad,” he said. “We had to evacuate at two in the morning, and we grabbed what we could, taking pictures off the wall as fast as we could. Jumped in the truck, loaded in the dogs, and away we went.”
Fieri knew as soon as he heard what was going on in his hometown that he needed to act and bring reinforcements along. He partnered with the Salvation Army so he and his team could cook five thousand meals a day for wildfire evacuees, volunteers, and first responders.
The celebrity chef and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host set up camp in the parking lot of the Veterans Memorial Building in Sonoma County. He brought along a CBS TV crew and a mobile barbecue pit, but he says it wasn’t a PR stunt.
“This isn’t a PR stunt,” he said. “You don’t see my banners up. I’m not promoting anything. I’m just here cooking. This is feeding people. People need help, and I’m here to help. That’s it.”
The wildfires have claimed nearly forty lives and destroyed five thousand homes. Fieri says he just wants to do what he can to help the community he calls home.
“I’ve got a lot of people coming together, and a lot of great chefs are going to come and help. We’re going to make people happy. We’re going to give them a little moment. I think food is always — we call it comfort food because it makes you feel good.
“In these times that we’re facing as a country, it’s so trying. But that’s the example I set for my sons: You stand up; you face it, and you go after it. You don’t back down from it.”
Food not only nourishes the body; it feeds the soul. It’s one of those most basic of needs that can help those who have been displaced feel centered and grounded once more. It may take years for the debris and clutter to be removed, but for those who got out, they’re just happy to be alive.
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