Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

From A Government Shutdown to the COVID-19 Crisis – A Mission to Serve
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From A Government Shutdown to the COVID-19 Crisis – A Mission to Serve
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Clinton Presidential Center/Clinton Foundation/USA

From a government shutdown to the COVID-19 crisis — a mission to serve. Partnering to provide fresh meals and essential items to people in need.

Little Rock, AR — In the early ’90s, Chef José Andrés moved to Washington, D.C. to lead the kitchen at a local tapas restaurant. Despite long workdays, Andrés spent much of his spare time volunteering at DC Central Kitchen, an organization that provides culinary job training and placement for the unemployed as well as thousands of meals per day.

It was during one of his shifts at the community kitchen that Andrés met President Clinton. Speaking to a group of volunteers, President Clinton singled him out. “Every single year here, 5,000 volunteers roll up their sleeves and give something back,” he said. “People like José Andrés, one of the premier young chefs in America. Despite the literally crazy demands of his job, he comes here every single week to share his passion and his skills.”

It was this sense of community and service that led Andrés to form his own nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, in 2010. The organization’s mission is simple: “We make sure that where there [are] hungry people, especially under very difficult circumstances, that people are going to have a decent plate of hot food.”

In 2019, when a lengthy government shutdown affected civil service workers, World Central Kitchen teamed up with restaurants and other food providers across the country to provide meals for the furloughed government employees and their families — including at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Together with local food truck owner Kyle Pounders, staff from the Clinton Foundation and World Central Kitchen helped provide 70,000 meals for those impacted in the central Arkansas region. The Clinton Foundation also quickly mobilized a Day of Action service project to help the Arkansas Food Bank and the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, sorting and packing diapers and essential items to be distributed to impacted families.

Little did they know that thanks to this initial partnership in 2019, the Clinton Foundation and World Central Kitchen were better prepared to mobilize quickly when the COVID-19 crisis began to affect the Little Rock community. Along with the City of Little Rock, local school districts, and other partners, the Clinton Foundation and World Central Kitchen responded after local schools were closed to help prepare and distribute thousands of meals from the Clinton Center — more than 350,000 meals to date — to students, families, seniors, and other vulnerable people in need.

Through this effort, the Clinton Center has been transformed into the hub for cooking, packaging, and delivering meals for the community. Each day, a force of more than 60 volunteers works to make sure that nearly 7,000 meals are accessible. Meals are loaded and distributed to grab-and-go pick up points around the county with the help of local food trucks. For the elderly, meals are delivered directly to their residences. Lunch and dinner are available to anyone in need each weekday, as well as lunch on weekends.

Since its founding, the Clinton Center has been a resource for the central Arkansas region — a place to gather, learn, and engage with the community. From family-friendly cultural exhibits like “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” that promotes the importance of sustainable lifestyles, to one-of-a-kind educational programs with notable and even notorious speakers such as the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the Clinton Center applies the unique perspective of President Bill Clinton’s lifetime of public service to help us understand the world we live in today.

And hopefully to inspire countless others to share their passion, skills, and stories to better serve their communities.

Thank You from President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

[music plays]
Image: Bill Clinton speaking
Bill Clinton: At the Clinton Foundation, we believe that everybody deserves a chance to succeed. Everybody has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together.
Image: Workers and volunteers
Chelsea Clinton: Thank you to everyone who's made the Clinton Foundation
Image: Chelsea sitting with group, 2 women standing holding signs
Image: Chelsea speaking
And all of its programs possible to
Image: Chelsea in classroom playing with kids
Image: Chelsea speaking to health worker
Really improve the lives and livelihoods of people here in the United States and across the globe.
Image: Bill with a family, hugging woman
Image: Bill speaking
Image: Clinton family at 2022 meeting
Bill Clinton: On behalf of all of us here at the Clinton Foundation and from our family to yours, thank you.
Image: Workers serving food
Image: Chelsea with teachers and kids
Chelsea Clinton: I also just want to say how excited I am to continue to engage in the most important work of all
Image: Chelsea speaking at an event
Which is to ensure that every child, and maybe those of us who are no longer children,
Image: Bill and health workers
Image: Kids playing on playground
Have the chance to, as my mother would say, live up to our God given potential.
Image: People waving
Image: Hillary Clinton with a family
Image: Chelsea Clinton reading to young girl
Image: Bill Clinton speaking at event
Image: Chelsea Clinton speaking
So thank you all so much for your support to this point, and we look forward to working together well into the future.
Image: Chelsea Clinton reading to students
Image: Bill Clinton speaking
Thank you. Your support is creating a cultural possibility in a world that is hungry for hope.
Image: Clinton Foundation logo
Text: Putting people first
[music fades]

Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
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