In the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Chef José Andrés helped feed the island’s hungry residents. In 2011, he founded the nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK) and began building a global network of chefs “creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty.”
Feeding people during natural disasters has become one of the signature efforts of the foundation. WCK pitched in during Superstorm Sandy, cooked as many as 100,000 meals a day in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and twice set up kitchens during wildfires in California. Before Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas over the weekend, WCK already had two kitchens sourced and staffed in Wilmington and Raleigh, with three more operations on standby.
For Andrés, who owns more than two dozen restaurants and has earned distinctions including the 2011 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year and two Michelin stars, WKC is an essential part of his work, a true passion project.
He joined the Wilmington team over the weekend and, through Twitter, announced that WKC is now feeding about 20,000 people a day in areas hit by Florence. Fresh food is available for first responders, people in shelters, and anyone in the area in need of a meal.