When disaster strikes, World Central Kitchen (WCK) mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. WCK also prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. We are pleased to share highlights of our climate-related relief work from November 2022 - March 2023. Thank you for helping make our efforts possible!
Snowstorm in Buffalo, NY (December 2022 - January 2023): In late December, hurricane-force winds, heavy snow, and sub-zero temperatures combined to leave Buffalo buried under snow. Conditions forced grocery stores across the area to shut down for several days, and stores that reopened were understaffed and overwhelmed by demand. Additionally, impassable roads and driving bans hampered food delivery. WCK’s Relief Team mobilized quickly and worked alongside Chef Darian and local partners to distribute warm, comforting meals to shelters, community organizations, senior facilities, and homes in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. WCK served 8,400 meals and 200 lbs of produce.
Storms in Northern California (January 2023): Beginning in late December, a wave of atmospheric rivers poured over 24 trillion gallons of water across California. Northern parts of the state were the hardest hit with major flooding and landslides leaving people isolated, without power, and displaced from their homes. In response, WCK’s Relief Team and local partners provided thousands of fresh meals and food product to impacted communities, including Merced, Guerneville, and Three Rivers. We also set systems in place to prepare for incoming storms as they approached—and as a result were able to quickly serve additional impacted areas in Sonoma and Santa Cruz. In total, WCK served nearly 26,500 meals, partnering with over 20 restaurants and establishing a WCK Relief Kitchen.
Tornado Outbreak in Alabama (January 2023): On January 12, communities across Alabama and Georgia were impacted by a tornado outbreak. Selma, a city of around 17,500 residents took a direct hit from one of the tornadoes, leaving a path of wrecked homes and debris. Our Relief Team was on site in Selma supporting the community as recovery efforts began. Working with a food truck partner and alongside local churches, including Ebenezer Baptist Church, we reached the most vulnerable families, as well as first responders and volunteers helping with clean-up efforts. WCK provided more than 2,600 comforting meals like pulled pork sandwiches and collard greens with bacon following the storm.
Wildfires in Chile (February 2023): In February, 260+ active fires burned more than one million acres in Chile, destroying thousands of homes and forcing evacuations. High temperatures and strong wind gusts fueled these flames. 5,000+ volunteer first responders from local communities battled the blazes, working extremely long shifts with minimal access to fresh food. WCK’s Relief Team arrived in Chile to identify gaps and needs in support. We partnered with 15 local food suppliers to provide nearly 25,000 meals in over two weeks to frontline communities in rural areas and emergency crews working tirelessly. WCK served food to 34 distribution points across the hardest-hit region.
We are grateful for your support of our climate-related relief work. Disasters fueled by the climate crisis will continue to occur at a frequency, intensity, and scale that requires WCK to continually adapt our model for relief and humanitarian assistance. The support from donors like you allows us to respond with the urgency of now and fulfill our mission: wherever there is a fight so that hungry people may eat, we will be there.
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