Beginning in March 2020, World Central Kitchen (WCK) responded to the health, economic, and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19, providing meals to communities left without access to fresh food. In 2021, our pandemic response shifted from large-scale meal distribution to WCK Direct, our text-to-order program that has addressed the dramatic rise in food insecurity, the increased strain on the emergency food system, and the struggling restaurant industry.
Program activities have included:
Working with trusted community-based partner organizations to identify households experiencing food and nutrition insecurity due to the pandemic, including families who have suffered economic hardship and do not have access to adequate food support.
When families agree to join the program, onboarding them onto the technology-based platform and training them on how to use it.
Households placing orders through the platform via text (texting “FOOD”) or phone call, selecting a local participating restaurant to order meals from.
Restaurants receiving these orders, preparing the meals, and scheduling deliveries or packaging the food for in-restaurant pick up.
Delivering meals through DoorDash, which has offered free deliveries and access to their technology through a third party integration, or households picking up their meal at the restaurant.
Receiving feedback from households and restaurants on the operation of WCK Direct and regularly integrating this feedback into refining the program.
WCK has now served more than 500,000 meals to 4,500+ households through WCK Direct in nine cities: Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, and Oakland. We continue to receive very positive feedback from those involved in the program. One community based partner in Charlotte told us, “WCK Direct has been a blessing to the families in our community. As some of our community members still struggle to find jobs or with poor health due to the pandemic, WCK Direct has given them the opportunity to provide nutritious and delicious food for their families while maintaining their dignity and giving them peace of mind.” A restaurant partner shared that since joining WCK Direct, “...it just brings us a ton of joy to know we are supporting families in our community in a bigger way as we have for the last 10 years.”
Thank you for your support of WCK, which has made all of this possible!
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