World Central Kitchen standing by to feed communities devastated by Hurricane Ian
Worl Central Kitchen springs into action. Image via World Central Kitchen.

WCK Sandwiches Ian
Relief teams are spread across the Gulf Coast and poised to distribute food and water once the storm passes.

For the last week and a half, international nonprofit World Central Kitchen has provided hundreds of thousands of meals to the residents of islands battered by Hurricane Fiona.

Now, chefs and volunteers are positioned to scale up production in response to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall and caused widespread flooding Wednesday afternoon in Southwest Florida.

“WCK’s relief (teams have) spread out across the coast, ready to respond as soon as it is safe. We’ve secured a kitchen and have made hundreds of sandwiches to serve immediately after the storm,” the group said.

“Additionally, we have built partnerships with restaurants ready to act to help us scale quickly. Winds and rains are intensifying, so the WCK team is safely sheltering through the storm before we start cooking hot meals tomorrow.”

Chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti as a means to fulfill large-scale food needs to those most in need following natural — and in the case of Ukraine, man-made — disasters around the world.

Since its inception, the organization has served more than 200 million fresh meals.

That includes efforts after Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico and caused power outages across the island. Under Andrés’ remote and in-person direction, World Central Kitchen has supplied more than 310,000 meals so far to communities affected by the storm, including those in the Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Nova Scotia and displaced people from the Caribbean to Canada.

As it did later in preparation for Hurricane Ian’s arrival in Florida, World Central Kitchen deployed advance teams to be on the ground before Hurricane Fiona hit to bring meals and water to people as soon as possible. The team scaled up to more than 120 members, including dozens of volunteers, preparing tens of thousands of meals daily across the affected areas.

“We’re seeing many fronts in many islands, making sure we provide relief as quick as we can. Experience of the past and working at the islands in the Caribbean has given us … know-how in making sure we adapt to the situation, and we increase the number of food and people we feed per day,” Andrés said of the effort Sept. 20.

Hurricane Ian reached wind speeds of 155 mph before striking Florida and flooding cities along the Gulf Coast. By 5:20 p.m., the storm was on course for Orlando with Category 4 strength.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has listed World Central Kitchen alongside other volunteer organizations — including the American Red Cross, Florida Baptist, Salvation Army, Feeding Florida, Farm Share, Midwest Food Bank, Operation BBQ Relief and Mercy Chefs — primed to offer food and water provisions after Ian passes.

Florida Politics contacted World Central Kitchen for additional information and will update this story.

Click here to donate to World Central Kitchen’s Hurricane Ian relief.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at Jess[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Tom

    September 28, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Best fishing I’ve seen in 20 years. Once you get out past the shore it’s fine. Don’t miss out on a world record fish. Have some balls.

  • PeterH

    September 28, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Jose Andres ‘WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN’ is a tremendous relief agency. Consider sending a contribution.

  • Christine Beck

    September 30, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Can you please post the locations you are going to be in Southwest Florida?

Comments are closed.


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