World Central Kitchen COVID-19 Response

by World Central Kitchen, Inc.
World Central Kitchen COVID-19 Response

Project Report | Aug 7, 2020
#ChefsForAmerica Update

By Daniel Poole | Development Manager

In response to the humanitarian and economic crises brought on by COVID-19, WCK is doing what we do best: feeding people in need, including children and their families, seniors, and people who are now unemployed and struggling to feed themselves and their families. WCK launched our #ChefsForAmerica relief efforts in mid-March, handing out grab-n-go meals to families in need in The Bronx. We rapidly scaled our activation —providing up to 250,000 meals a day — to meet the growing need across the U.S. In five months, WCK has served more than 25 million meals to food insecure people in 400+ cities across the U.S., Spain, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic. 

WCK has been operating grab-n-go sites in major cities including New York City, Detroit, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, partnering with local officials and organizations, such as Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), at many of these sites. These partnerships allow WCK to ensure that we are identifying and reaching the communities most in need as a result of the pandemic.

In mid-April, WCK announced Restaurants for the People, a new program in which we pay restaurants $10/meal — which covers the cost of ingredients, staff wages, and monthly expenses like electricity — to provide fresh, nutritious food to their neighbors. This presents a powerful win-win solution: not only do families affected by the pandemic get access to restaurant-quality meals, but the restaurant industry that has been ravaged by continued shutdowns can keep cooking. Restaurants are able to keep their lights on, hire back employees, and purchase from local farms and producers, supporting the local and national economies. 

WCK has partnered with 2,400+ restaurants through Restaurants for the People to provide more than 10 million restaurant meals to communities around the country. We have disbursed more than $90 million directly to these small, independent restaurants, helping support an industry that needs support to keep doors open. Mott Haven — a neighborhood favorite in The Bronx — had to close in mid-March. When it reopened, delivery services were not enough to cover the restaurant’s expenses. Mott Haven joined Restaurants for the People and, to date, has provided more than 40,000 meals to food insecure people in the community. Rosa, owner of the restaurant, told us, “Without World Central Kitchen, there would not be a Mott Haven.” 

Thank you so much for your support of our efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic began as a health crisis and has since turned into an economic and humanitarian crisis as well. As cases continue to spike across the country and restaurants struggle to remain open, WCK’s Restaurants for the People model continues to provide a vital lifeline. With your support, we can provide fresh meals to people who desperately need them while helping local, independent restaurants keep their doors open.

Reverend Al Sharpton at a WCK grab-n-go site
Reverend Al Sharpton at a WCK grab-n-go site
Nutritious restaurant-prepared meal
Nutritious restaurant-prepared meal
Rosa of Mott Haven
Rosa of Mott Haven


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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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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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