José Andrés Helps the Nats Turn D.C.’s Baseball Stadium Into a Community Kitchen

José Andrés Helps the Nats Turn D.C.’s Baseball Stadium Into a Community Kitchen

World Central Kitchen will prepare thousands of free meals at Nationals Park

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game FiveChef José Andrés threw out the first pitch during a World Series game at Nationals Park — now his nonprofit is using the stadium to cook meals for the masses.Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have teamed up with chef José Andrés’s global nonprofit to utilize D.C.’s empty professional baseball stadium as a place to cook and distribute thousands of free meals to residents in need during the novel coronavirus crisis.

Under its city-owned lease, Nationals Park is supposed to be used for sports and entertainment only, but the city signed off on a plan led by World Central Kitchen and the team’s newly established charity arm, Nationals Philanthropies (formerly the Dream Foundation).

Two large kitchens at the park will be used to prepare hot meals that will be delivered to communities by Uber Eats drivers. One facility is typically reserved for suites, catering, and concessions. The other, PNC Diamond Club kitchen, normally makes food for big-ticket fans. It’s outfitted with six-burner ranges and all the culinary bells and whistles.


Tuesday’s meal is a chicken and broccoli stir-fry with cilantro rice and toasted sesame. Later this week, people will get a plate of beef fajitas with roasted peppers and onions, garlic rice, and black beans.

Nationals Philanthropies seeded a new $100,000 fund to provide grants to third party entities equipped to feed need during the current crisis. So far, it’s contributed $25,000 to Mid-Atlantic Food Access and Resilience Coalition, led by 4P Foods, and $15,000 to Martha’s Table. Donations from fans, corporations, foundations, and Nationals personnel and players are pouring in fast. As of Monday, the fund hit $256,000.

Nationals park is empty while the coronavirus outbreak delays the start of baseball season