José Andrés' World Central Kitchen Is Heading To Florida

José Andrés started World Central Kitchen in 2010 in response to Haiti's devastating earthquake (via World Central Kitchen). Since then, the organization has taken chefs all over the world to provide food assistance to people in need during disasters like the Australian brushfires, Hurricane Maria, and the COVID-19 pandemic. World Central Kitchen also helps refugees, like those fleeing the war in Ukraine. The organization's website states that it aims to fight hunger during these life-changing events not only by providing food and aid but by also sourcing ingredients from the regions it is serving and training aspiring local chefs to support the community and rebuild the economy.

CNN reports Hurricane Ian was classified as a Category Four hurricane when it hit Florida's west coast on Wednesday, September 28. (According to the National Hurricane Center, Category Four storms are marked by wind speeds between 130 to 156 miles per hour and intense damage is to be expected.) The hurricane has caused some 2 million Florida residents to lose power, per CNBC, as well as blocked roadways, caused major flooding, and destroyed houses. As many areas of Florida now face the task of cleaning up the destruction left in Hurricane Ian's wake, World Central Kitchen is stepping in to help provide food to those who may be struggling.

Offering fresh food to those impacted by the storm

As soon as Hurricane Ian passed through Florida, World Central Kitchen began distributing hot, fresh-cooked meals to Florida residents impacted by the storm (via World Central Kitchen). Chefs working with the organization prepped sandwiches for residents to take, as well as cooked hot meals — like pasta Bolognese, according to a Facebook post made by the organization — for them to eat on-site. The World Central Kitchen website states it has also partnered with nearby restaurants to gain access to additional kitchen space, allowing the non-profit to elevate its response.

World Central Kitchen started off with 5,000 to-go meals, reports the Tampa Bay Times, and the chefs plan to stay a while to help with the impact of the storm. Though primarily based in Tampa for now, the non-profit organization shared plans to set up a commissary kitchen further south; It has also partnered with food trucks and restaurants in the Miami area. World Central Kitchen set the goal of serving 15,000 cold, to-go meals (like sandwiches) per day, as well as 10,000 hot, fresh-cooked meals.