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A Michelin-starred restaurant has turned into a soup kitchen to help feed New Yorkers in need

INSIDER logoINSIDER 4/5/2020 Kelly McLaughlin
a dining room table © Flickr/djjewelz

One of the world's best restaurants has turned into a soup kitchen to help provide food for healthcare workers and New Yorkers in need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Eleven Madison Park, which has three Michelin stars, announced on Wednesday that it would become a commissary kitchen for ReThink, a nonprofit organization that takes excess food from grocery stores and restaurants and turns it into ready-to-eat meals.

The meals are providing sustenance for healthcare workers and other people on the front lines of the virus, as well as underserved communities that normally rely on food banks and soup kitchens, many of which have closed because of concerns around COVID-19.

"I believe the storm is still coming, and will be for some time, and if we can do just a little something, these dark days can be just a bit brighter," Daniel Humm, a chef and the owner of Eleven Madison Park, said in his announcement, posted to Instagram. He added that he teamed up with American Express and Resy to pursue the effort.

Humm told New York Times that his team of 12 chefs is making about 1,000 meals a day and hope to increase their production to 3,000 a day. Each meal costs $5 to $6 to make, which, according to The Times, is consistent with other food sources for people in need.

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A post shared by Daniel Humm (@danielhumm) on Apr 1, 2020 at 11:17am PDT

According to CNN, dishes coming out of Eleven Madison Park's kitchen include chicken rice with roasted cauliflower, braised veal cheek with carrots and couscous, and pasta with a romesco sauce.

ReThink founder Matt Jozwiak told The Times that Eleven Madison Park's initiative is just one of many his team has in the works. They also started a Restaurant Response Program, which grants restaurants with up to $50,000 to cook for New Yorkers in need.

By the end of April, Jozwiak plans to provide 8,000 to 10,000 meals a day to people across New York.

"Dignity is something that I fear is going to get lost in this scurry to get people food," Jozwiak told The Times. "We wanted to make sure that when we were making food, it was beautiful."

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