Climate Disaster Fund

by World Central Kitchen, Inc.
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Climate Disaster Fund
Climate Disaster Fund
Climate Disaster Fund

Project Report | Nov 1, 2023
WCK's Climate Disaster Fund November 2023 Update

By Daniel Poole | Senior Manager, Development Writing and Research

WCK partner El Orgullo Latino Kitchen in Florida
WCK partner El Orgullo Latino Kitchen in Florida

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines providing meals in response to crises. We launched the Climate Disaster Fund in November 2021 as our decade-long commitment to raise and spend $1 billion to support communities impacted by the climate crisis. While there are unknowns for a disaster relief organization—such as when, where, or how many crises will occur—our Climate Disaster Fund gives WCK the resources to activate with the “urgency of now” without having to wait for disaster-specific funding. We are grateful for your incredible support of our climate-related relief work. From July to October, WCK responded to seven climate disasters, serving more than 285,000 fresh meals to support affected communities.

Flooding in Vermont (July): Slow-moving storms across the northeast created conditions for severe flooding in Vermont, as two months’ worth of rain fell in just two days. WCK’s Relief Team arrived in Vermont as soon as it was safe, and served more than 9,100 nourishing plates of food across 10 cities. Our team partnered with over 20 local suppliers and established four public distribution sites to reach the hardest-hit communities, including low-income and unhoused populations.

Wildfires in Greece (July - August): Dozens of wildfires across the Greek islands of Rhodes, Corfu, and Evia forced tens of thousands of locals and tourists to evacuate—the largest evacuation alert in Greece’s history. First responders and local community members battled the blazes tirelessly, working long hours. WCK’s teams first reached Rhodes with sandwiches, fruit, and water for the team of firefighters doing everything they could to save homes and businesses. We supported frontline communities, evacuees, and emergency crews, serving nearly 7,500 meals in total.

Wildfires in Spain (August): A wildfire ignited on Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, in mid-August and quickly grew out of control. Fueled by dry conditions, an ongoing heatwave, and high winds, the wildfire prompted the evacuations of thousands of people. WCK’s Relief Team mobilized quickly, arriving on Tenerife within hours of the fire igniting to serve nourishing meals for emergency responders working nonstop to control the blaze. Working with a local bakery, we provided sandwiches, cold water, and fresh fruit to first responders spread across the island’s mountainous terrain. In total, WCK distributed 1,375 meals.

Wildfires in Hawai‘i (August - September): Multiple wildfires burned thousands of acres of land on the islands of Hawaii. The flames were fanned by Hurricane Dora, a Category 4 storm moving across the Pacific. The fires engulfed the historic town of Lahaina and left many residents without a home to return to.

WCK’s Relief Team arrived the next day on Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui to assess the impact the fires had on communities’ access to food and water, and began providing sandwiches while identifying areas in need of support. We set up a multi-faceted response utilizing our innovative and rapid-focused relief model that gets food directly to people affected by crises while boosting livelihoods, businesses, and economies. WCK alongside the local community served nearly 150,000 fresh meals, distributed more than 5,200 food boxes, sponsored 10 farmers markets, and bought $50,000-worth of vouchers for families to purchase meals from 10 local restaurants.

Hurricane Hilary (August): Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall along Mexico’s Baja California peninsula before heading north into the U.S. WCK teams had pre-positioned in Mexico, California, and Nevada in advance of the storm, and began assessing meal needs as soon as the storm passed through each region. Within hours, we loaded sandwiches and water onto a helicopter in Cabo San Lucas and headed north to Santa Rosalía, making several stops along the way to assess community needs in Mexico. Across each region, our teams found that the majority of food needs were being met locally, but there were small pockets of remote communities that needed additional meal support. We provided hundreds of sandwiches daily to families in Santa Rosalía.

In Mount Charleston, Nevada, WCK provided immediate support to families forced to evacuate by flooding. We made sure residents could pick up fresh meals as they boarded buses to be driven further down the mountain to a resource center or to reunite with families. WCK served meals to first responders, utility workers, and all others helping in the process, serving over 6,250 meals.

Flooding in Chile (August - September): In Chile, severe floods forced more than 30,000 people in the county’s southern-central region to evacuate. Already reeling from weeks of intense weather, communities across the region were hit by another severe weather system in late August that caused devastating flooding. WCK quickly mobilized and learned communities in the Maule region urgently needed meal support. Our team established a central meal distribution site in Licantén, where flood water reached the roofs of many homes, and delivered meals door-to-door to families in isolated towns across the area. We were able to provide meals within hours of arriving in Chile thanks to our partnership with Fundación Gastronomía Social—a nonprofit that develops collaborative approaches to improve food security, social inclusion, and environmental health in the country. In total, WCK served more than 18,100 meals.

Hurricane Idalia in Florida (August - September): Hurricane Idalia made landfall along northwestern Florida on August 30 as a powerful Category 3 storm. WCK teams mobilized across the region a day ahead of Idalia’s arrival to be prepared and in position. As soon as the storm passed, our teams in Gainesville and Tallahassee began to assess impacted areas, bringing hundreds of sandwiches, along with water and fruit, to provide immediate support to people in need. We conducted an aerial assessment of the region and understood that rural communities were most heavily impacted with heavy winds bringing trees down on homes and power lines. To accommodate the mileage between impacted areas, we partnered with 25 local food trucks to bring nourishing meals directly to the communities that needed them most.

WCK opened nine public distribution sites across the region, and served thousands of daily meals alongside food truck partners. WCK distributed more than 95,000 meals following Hurricane Idalia. 

We are so grateful for your support of this work, which has helped WCK serve fresh, nourishing meals to communities affected by climate crises. Thank you!

Local chef Charles (right) cooked meals in Hawai'i
Local chef Charles (right) cooked meals in Hawai'i
WCK partner meal served in Vermont after flooding
WCK partner meal served in Vermont after flooding


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Jul 7, 2023
WCK's Climate Disaster Fund July 2023 Update

By Daniel Poole | Senior Manager, Development Writing and Research

Mar 9, 2023
Update on WCK's Climate-Related Work

By Daniel Poole | Development Manager

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Organization Information

World Central Kitchen, Inc.

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @wckitchen
Project Leader:
Daniel Poole
Washington , DC United States

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