Puerto Rico was hit by two record-breaking Hurricanes, Maria and Irma, just about five months ago. Although that much time has gone on, a good portion of the island, around 400,000 customers, is still without power and many resources.
Over the past five months, chefs and restaurateurs from Dos Abuelas food truck, Bar Dough, Señor Bear, and Candela Latin Kitchen, among others, have contributed to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, according to Eater Denver. Keigh Crespo, from the Dos Abuelas food truck, is organizing a group of volunteers for a trip to Puerto Rico in April. Crepso has family that lives on the island and could not think of not stepping in to help.
Crespo launched donation collections back in October and has assembled a crew of a nurse, a carpenter, and an engineer to come with her on the journey in April. Other members of the organization, like Juan Padro, owner of Señor Bear, visited Puerto Rico last month with a team to distribute aid and donate goods. Since his return to Colorado, he has held many fundraisers, bringing in six figures in donations.
When perishable food is shipped, insulated packaging and dry ice in combination can preserve the food for 24 to 48 hours. Restaurant owners in Denver are keeping this in mind when considering the logistics of getting their food donations over to Puerto Rico.
Isiah Salazar of Candel Latin Kitchen sold dishes that resulted in $1 donations with each meal for United for Puerto Rico. The restaurant raised over $5,000 for the cause. Head chef took time off from the restaurant to visit the island to prepare meals for the people of Puerto Rico.
He told Eater Denver, “The trip was incredibly intense and humbling. We cooked our meals on the ground amidst the debris, while volunteers from local churches used a megaphone to announce that there was hot food available. We ran out of food within 30 minutes every time.”