Undisclosed FEMA Contractor Criticizes FEMA Bureaucracy

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JORGE RAMOS, HOST, AL PUNTO: Have you found, José Andrés, the formula for helping people? Something that governments can’t do? What do you do that governments don’t know how to?

CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS: The folks that work in government are wonderful people. They’re like you and like me. They want to do the best they can, but sometimes there are so many laws, so many regulations, that they’re often trapped within their own system which, in theory, was designed to help. When an organization like ours shows up we have...we have no rules. Our only thing is the mission. The mission is to give people food and drink. And, simply, we turn any problem into an opportunity.

JORGE RAMOS: This is to say, governments and NGOs have much to learn from you, no? The freshness, the energy, the clarity- and leaving bureaucracies aside.

CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS: I believe that sometimes when the large NGOs, in this case FEMA…

JORGE RAMOS: The Red Cross…

CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS: The Red Cross, the Salvation Army...there comes a time when they are (made up of) so many people that, sometimes, perhaps they forgot how they started out. And I believe that what we bring is, simply, freshness. Our mission- One: to feed people. What do we need? Kitchens, food, volunteers. Two: We need to know where the different shelters or communities are that have been totally neglected. We establish contact. We begin to cook, we begin to feed. Problem solved. Often when you start to talk about government, or large NGOs, they want to start with, “Well, we need to fill out a form. We need…” No, people. People are hungry NOW, not a week from now, not a month from now.

JORGE RAMOS: It’s TODAY.

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