Hurricane Florence has already begun to devastate the southeastern coast of the United States with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. The hurricane is also expected to cause catastrophic storm surges and coastal flooding that will cause "tens of thousands of structures" to suffer damage. More than 1.7 million residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and southern parts of Virginia have been urged to evacuate.
World Central Kitchen's Chef Relief Team arrived before the hurricane to establish emergency kitchens and preposition supplies ahead of the storm. We have already prepared our first meals in Wilmington and Raleigh for local police, Red Cross, and other emergency responders. As the hurricane develops over the next few days, we will activate three additional kitchens in Kinston, Jacksonville, and Charleston to serve those in evacuation centers. Our goal is to provide 150,000 meals.
Chef-prepared, quality meals for Hurricane Florence victims provide essential nourishment while restoring hope. Unlike most meal relief operations, World Central Kitchen's chefs are able to meet a variety of dietary needs and prepare local favorites with ingredients purchased in the local economy. We believe that food nourishes the soul as well as the body and have seen the comfort that a hot plate of food can bring. At least 150,000 individuals will benefit as a result of our work.