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World Central Kitchen

Multiple Locations

Organization Type

Not-For-Profit

About 

WCK is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. We build resilient food systems with locally led solutions.

Projects

World Central Kitchen started with a simple idea at home with my wife Patricia: when people are hungry, send in cooks. Not tomorrow, today.

Everyone knows that food is central to life and family all over the world. What we learned very quickly was that food is even more essential in a crisis.

It all began in 2010 after a huge earthquake devastated Haiti. Cooking alongside displaced Haitians in a camp, I found myself getting schooled in how to cook black beans the way they wanted: mashed and sieved into a creamy sauce.

You see, food relief is not just a meal that keeps hunger away. It’s a plate of hope. It tells you in your darkest hour that someone, somewhere, cares about you.

This is the real meaning of comfort food. It’s why we make the effort to cook in a crisis.

We don’t just deliver raw ingredients and expect people to fend for themselves. And we don’t just dump free food into a disaster zone: we source and hire locally wherever we can, to jump-start economic recovery through food.

After a disaster, food is the fastest way to rebuild our sense of community. We can put people back to work preparing it, and we can put lives back together by fighting hunger.

Cooking and eating together is what makes us human.

Since those early days our journey has taken World Central Kitchen all over the world. We fed an island after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico. We fed tens of millions struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. We put boots on the ground when a blast devastated Beirut, bushfires ripped through Australia, and a volcano transformed a Spanish island.

We were under a bridge with thousands of asylum seekers in Texas, in a demolished Kentucky town after brutal tornadoes, on the Louisiana coast when yet another enormous hurricane made landfall.

We have traveled a long way together, with support from people just like you.

We have witnessed enough disasters to know that food relief is not enough. So we have invested in our Food Producer Network to help create resilience ahead of the next disaster. We train aspiring chefs in skills and safety to build their careers and the food economy. We advocate for more hunger relief and better nutrition. We want clean cookstoves in the homes of the one billion cooks whose health, and the climate, are in danger, when all they want to do is feed their families.

And we launched our Climate Disaster Fund: a $1 billion commitment over the next decade to support communities impacted by the climate crisis.

Because food is not a luxury reserved for the lucky few. It’s a universal human right to live free from hunger.

At times like these, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges we face, and the speed of each new crisis.

But many complex problems have simple solutions. Sometimes you just need to decide to do something. Sometimes you just have to show up with a sandwich or some warm rice and beans.

You’d be amazed at the power of a plate of food. It can change the world, and so can you.

José Andrés

Founder