CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A Food Network star from South Florida has been preparing meals to help thousands of residents in the region not go hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Valdes and his team could be seen preparing the meals at the Coral Gables Women’s Club on Monday.

“It’s not only about what’s in it for me, it’s what I could do for other people, so it’s not only about setting the example, it’s about being the example,” Valdes said.

The coronavirus pandemic has left some supermarket shelves bare, and for some families, getting food has been an issue.

Valdes and his staff prepared 2,000 cook-at-home boxes, which they distributed free of charge to vulnerable South Floridians. The young chef’s efforts were aided thanks to Farm Share, FLIPANY and several South Florida community partners.

“I love the glitz and the glam, but my job is to be in the kitchen serving food, and if we don’t have customers and if we don’t have clients, might as well give it back to our community, especially the elders,” Valdes said. “We’re also going to be giving to some other families, families with children in need, so it’s a little bit for everyone.”

Valdes’ team also got an assist from Florida Dairy Farmers and Borden, who donated milk to accompany the meals.

Artist Romero Britto provided coloring books to go along with the meals, as well.

“I always say that if you have a voice, use it, and in times like this, it’s very important to give back to our community,” Valdes said. “Everyone is going through their own personal story, so I think it’s very important as a chef to help those that need food because no one should be affected when it comes to what they eat, and if they have enough money to buy food and whatnot, so it’s very important to help out.”

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