World Central Kitchen

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World Central Kitchen
Formation2010 (2010)
FoundersJosé Andrés
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., United States
Area served

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. Founded in 2010 by chef José Andrés, the organization prepared food in Haiti following its devastating earthquake. Its method of operations is to be a first responder and then to collaborate and galvanize solutions with local chefs to solve the problem of hunger, immediately following a disaster.[1][2]

Disaster relief[edit]

Chef José Andrés with White House liaison staff

Since its founding, the NGO has organized meals in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Zambia, Peru, Cuba, Uganda, The Bahamas, Cambodia, Ukraine, and the United States.[3][4][5]

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria response[edit]

José Andrés emerged as a leader of the disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017. His efforts to provide assistance encountered obstacles from FEMA and government bureaucrats, so instead, "we just started cooking."[6] He organized a grass-roots movement of chefs and volunteers to establish communications, food supplies, and other resources and started serving meals. Andrés and his organization World Central Kitchen (WCK)[7] served more than two million meals in the first month after the hurricane.[8][9][10] WCK received two short term FEMA contracts and served more meals than the Salvation Army or the Red Cross, but its application for longer-term support was denied.[11][8] WCK developed resiliency centers on the island, and installed a hydropanel array at a greenhouse in San Juan to provide safe drinking water.[12]

For his efforts in Puerto Rico, Andrés was named the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.[13] He wrote a book about the experience called We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.[14]

2017–2019 events[edit]

World Central Kitchen deployed in Port Charlotte, Florida after Hurricane Ian

In August 2017, WCK coordinated efforts with the American Red Cross and working in Houston, Texas following Hurricane Harvey.[15] WCK operated in Southern California in Ventura County during the December 2017 Thomas Fire to assist firefighters and first responders and provided food to families affected by the fires.[16]

A kitchen to serve the Hawaiian communities affected by a volcanic eruption in June 2018 was set up.[1] In September 2018, WCK worked in South Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.[17] In November 2018, WCK and Andrés teamed up with chefs Guy Fieri, and Tyler Florence, and local Sierra Nevada Brewing Company to bring Thanksgiving dinner to 15,000 Camp Fire survivors in Butte County, California.[18][19]

In January 2019, WCK and Andrés opened a restaurant on Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC, to feed federal workers that were furloughed during the government shutdown.[20] In September 2019, WCK and Andrés opened kitchens in The Bahamas to feed people in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.[21] In October they helped in Sonoma County, California, working with local chefs such as Guy Fieri, during the Kincade Fire.[22]


In early March 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship was under quarantine near San Francisco due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[23] WCK in collaboration with Bon Appetit Management Company (a division of Compass Group), fed thousands of stranded passengers for approximately a week while logistics were being figured out.[23] Over 50,000 meals were served during this crisis.[23]

In mid-March 2020, Andrés transformed eight of his New York City and Washington, DC restaurants into soup kitchens to support customers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.[24]

In late March 2020 in the San Francisco Bay Area, WCK collaborated with Frontline Foods in order to provide an open-sourced effort to deliver meals from local restaurants to local hospital staff, many of which have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 closures.[25] It later assumed responsibility and management of the Frontline Foods operation.[26][27]

During April 2020, Andrés partnered with the Washington Nationals and World Central Kitchen to use the team's stadium in Washington, DC, as a kitchen and distribution facility for free meals.[28]

In late February 2022, Andrés and World Central Kitchen responded to multiple locations, including in border areas and in hard-hit Kharkiv, Ukraine, to distribute meals during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[29] By March 2, 2022, WCK has opened 8 kitchens on the Poland–Ukraine border.[30]



  1. ^ a b Wilson, Christie (June 25, 2018). "World Central Kitchen helps to ensure quality meals are made available for evacuees". Honolulu star advertiser. Honolulu.
  2. ^ Cunniffe, Eileen (September 17, 2018). "Chefs as First Responders? Yes, Thanks to World Central Kitchen". nonprofit quarterly. Boston, MA.
  3. ^ "José Andrés's World Central Kitchen, Explained". Eater. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  4. ^ "Chefs Make Change: José Andrés for World Central Kitchen | Food & Wine". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  5. ^ Severson, Kim (October 30, 2017). "José Andrés Fed Puerto Rico, and May Change How Aid Is Given". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  6. ^ Andrés, Jose (11 September 2018). We fed an island : the true story of rebuilding Puerto Rico, one meal at a time. Anthony Bourdain/Ecco. p. 124. ISBN 978-0062864482.
  7. ^ "The Story of World Central Kitchen, the Nonprofit Serving Millions of Meals to Puerto Rico". 10 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Gajanan, Mahita (16 October 2017). "'The American Government Has Failed.' Celebrity Chef José Andrés Slams FEMA's Puerto Rico Response". TIME Magazine.
  9. ^ Carman, Tim (18 October 2017). "After Maria, José Andrés and his team have prepared more hot meals in Puerto Rico than the Red Cross". Washington Post. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  10. ^ "He fed 2 million Puerto Ricans. Now this celebrity chef is being called a hero". Miami Herald.
  11. ^ "José Andrés Fed Puerto Rico, and May Change How Aid Is Given". New York Times. 2017-10-30.
  12. ^ "Source Customer Story - World Central Kitchen" (PDF). Zero Mass Water. 2020. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  13. ^ Carman, Tim (21 February 2018). "Beard Foundation names José Andrés Humanitarian of the Year following a turbulent year for chefs". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Carman, Tim (6 September 2018). "José Andrés's riveting 'We Fed an Island' calls for a revolution in disaster relief". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Carman, Tim (August 30, 2017). "José Andrés is in Houston, ready to cook: 'If I can feed one person, I'm happy.'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  16. ^ "Thomas Fire: Volunteer program providing healthy meals to displaced families". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  17. ^ Simon, Erica (2018-09-16). "Celebrity chef cooking up meals to help Florence relief efforts". ABC13 Houston. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  18. ^ "World Central Kitchen serves up 55K meals". Malibu Surfside News. 2018-11-22. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  19. ^ "Calif. fire evacuees do their best on a sad Thanksgiving". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  20. ^ "Chef José Andrés will serve free meals daily to furloughed federal workers in Washington". CNN.
  21. ^ Carman, Tim. "José Andrés and World Central Kitchen follow blueprint from Puerto Rico to feed Dorian victims". Washington Post.
  22. ^ Mandela Linder (October 30, 2019). "Guy Fieri Feeds Kincade Fire Evacuees, First Responders". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  23. ^ a b c "How Bon Appetit, World Central Kitchen fed quarantined Grand Princess passengers". Food Management. 2020-03-31. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  24. ^ Steussy, Lauren (2020-03-16). "Chef José Andrés turns his restaurants into community kitchen". New York Post. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  25. ^ "Bay Area effort to help restaurants feed hospital workers partners with Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  26. ^ Barbieri, Frank (2020-07-09). "Frontline Foods joins World Central Kitchen". Medium. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  27. ^ Vergara, Jenny. "Frontline Foods, Partner of Chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen, Opens Kansas City Chapter". Feast Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  28. ^ Plumb, Tierney (2020-04-07). "José Andrés Helps the Nats Turn D.C.'s Baseball Stadium Into a Community Kitchen". Eater DC. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  29. ^ Abrahamson, Rachel Paula. "Chef José Andrés is on the ground feeding refugees at Ukraine-Poland border". Retrieved 2022-03-02.
  30. ^ Kate Krader (2022-03-02). "World Central Kitchen Cooks Up Compassion in War-Torn Ukraine". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2022-03-08.
  31. ^ Carman, Tim (February 21, 2018). "Beard Foundation names José Andrés Humanitarian of the Year following a turbulent year for chefs". The Washington Post.
  32. ^ Emeril Lagasse (2018). "José Andrés is on the 2018 TIME 100 List". Time. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  33. ^ "2021 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord". Princess of Asturias Foundation. 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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