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World-renowned chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson is on a mission to combat food insecurity in underserved communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Food & Wine, he has teamed up with the nonprofit World Central Kitchen to lead relief initiatives in cities throughout the country.

In a collaborative effort to fight hunger amongst those who have experienced financial setbacks as a result of the global health crisis, Samuelsson, chef José Andrés’ nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen and Audible announced the launch of Newark Working Kitchens. Through the project, Newark’s most vulnerable residents will be provided with free daily meals. Under the NWK initiative, there will be a program for restaurateurs and small business owners impacted by COVID-19 restrictions that is designed to help them gain access to funding so their business are able to survive as the economic landscape shifts. Several individuals and organizations are rallying together to push the initiative forward. Invest Newark and Newark Venture Partners will lead the small business program and Audible has pledged to donate $1 million. Actor Michael B. Jordan has also contributed to the effort.

“By working together we can harness the full power of each of our abilities to combat food insecurity in our local community during this extraordinary time of need,” said Samuelsson. “As this is now our third collaboration with World Central Kitchen across the country, we are even more motivated to help build a model that can be replicated and expanded quickly across our country and hopefully the world.”

Samuelsson, his team, and the World Central Kitchen have distributed over 15,000 meals in Harlem, Miami and Newark. The chef has also used his platform to advocate for small business owners, spread awareness about the challenges faced by low-paid workers and call on elected officials to ensure that stimulus plans are inclusive.

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