World Central Kitchen

Feeding hope

2 minute read

World Central Kitchen (WCK), the hunger-fighting nonprofit founded by celebrity chef José Andrés in 2010, faced its most harrowing moment on April 1: seven of its aid workers, including American, Canadian, British, Australian, Polish, and Palestinian team members, were killed by an Israel Defense Forces strike in Gaza, where the organization and its partners have served more than 46 million meals since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, 2023. Amid the threat of famine, WCK worked to open a maritime corridor to the enclave, and partnered with the United Arab Emirates and Spanish NGO Open Arms to deliver several hundred tons of humanitarian aid. Its March boat was the first to reach the Gaza port in nearly two decades, and the organization says it’s responsible for about 60% of all NGO-provided humanitarian aid to the war-torn region. The April incident sparked international condemnation from President Joe Biden and other world leaders. "I am outraged and heartbroken," Biden said in a statement. Dignitaries from more than 30 countries attended a memorial service honoring the WCK victims in Washington, D.C. on April 25. Four days later, WCK resumed operations in Gaza. It also continues to operate in another conflict zone, Ukraine, where WCK has served more than 260 million meals since the start of the Russian invasion in 2022. “We see time and time again,” says CEO Erin Gore, “that the best of humanity shows up in the worst of times.”

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