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After return from space, Jeff Bezos gives $100 million to chef José Andres

Jeff Bezos (3rd-L) shakes hands with Wally Funk, who became the oldest person in space with other crew mates Oliver Daemen (L) and Mark Bezos (2nd-L) at a post-launch press conference after they flew on Blue Origin's inaugural flight to the edge of space (REUTERS)Premium
Jeff Bezos (3rd-L) shakes hands with Wally Funk, who became the oldest person in space with other crew mates Oliver Daemen (L) and Mark Bezos (2nd-L) at a post-launch press conference after they flew on Blue Origin's inaugural flight to the edge of space (REUTERS)

The vaunted chef is passing the money along to his disaster relief organization, World Central Kitchen

Jeff Bezos made big news on Tuesday and not just for flying into space.

In a press conference following his 11-minute Blue Origin flight, the Amazon.com Inc. founder announced a $100 million award to José Andrés.

The Nobel Peace Prize-nominated chef will donate the money to World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit he cofounded in 2010 that helps feed and support people in disaster-stricken areas around the world. Recently, it has fed flood victims in affected parts of Germany and partnered with food trucks to support emergency personnel following the Miami building collapse.

Bezos announced the prize as part of a newly created Courage and Civility Award that recognizes people who working on solutions to global issues. Van Jones, a CNN political contributor and founder of Dream Corps, was also awarded $100 million. “They can give all to their own charity or they can share their wealth. It’s all up to them," said Bezos.

“I’m really grateful for this award, and the incredible support from Jeff and the entire Bezos family," said Andrés in a statement. “World Central Kitchen was born from the simple idea that food has the power to create a better world. A plate of food is a plate of hope … it’s the fastest way to rebuild lives and communities."

The chef, who is opening two restaurants in New York later this year, plans to revolutionize disaster and hunger relief. Among his specific goals is to double food aid around the world and change the way three billion people, which he notes are mainly women, cook food.

“This award itself cannot feed the world on its own. But this is the start of a new chapter for us—it will allow us to think beyond the next hurricane to the bigger challenges we face. People of the world: now is the time to think really big, to solve hunger with the fierce urgency of now," continued Andrés in his statement.

Bezos is one in a recent string of high profile supporters for Andrés. In December, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex partnered with World Central Kitchen to build four new relief centers, starting with the Caribbean island of Dominica.

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