Join GreenLight Women in supporting the Ukrainian relief efforts of the World Central Kitchen.
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. WCK has served more than 60 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world. WCK’s Resilience Programs strengthen food and nutrition security by training chefs and school cooks; advancing clean cooking practices; and awarding grants to farms, fisheries, and small food businesses while also providing educational and networking opportunities. A critical pillar of our emergency relief work is to support communities affected by humanitarian crises, including Venezuelan refugees, Afghan refugees, and migrants along the U.S./Mexico border.
WCK’S RESPONSE TO SUPPORT UKRAINIANS
On February 24, Russia launched a large-scale military operation on neighboring Ukraine, invading the country on several fronts. The United Nations estimates that 7 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine and nearly 4 million Ukrainians — primarily women and children — have fled since the attack began. Many refugees fleeing Ukraine lack access to food during the long and arduous journey to the border: one refugee in a report from The Washington Post had scarcely slept in six days and hadn’t eaten in two.
WCK began serving hot meals within hours of the initial invasion of Ukraine, and quickly set up at the eight border crossings with Poland. Our Chefs for Ukraine response has grown rapidly and is distributing nourishing food and fresh meals across the region, including Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain, a destination country for some refugees. In addition to our field kitchen, WCK is working with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks to provide fresh and comforting meals at border crossings, reception centers, shelters, and other locations along their journey. WCK is also distributing bulk food product including produce and dry goods to restaurant partners in Ukraine to supplement the strained food supply chain. Working with local food businesses allows us to 1) leverage the existing infrastructure to provide meals immediately, 2) invest in the local economy during a time when business as usual has ground to a halt, 3) ensure the meals we provide are culturally relevant, and 4) engage the local community in our response.
In response to the humanitarian disaster, WCK has served more than 4 million meals — and counting — to 100+ cities across seven countries.
- Ukraine: WCK is partnering with 100+ food suppliers to serve 150,000 meals per day across Ukraine. We have provided meals to refugees at the border and at shelters in cities. WCK is also transporting truck- and train car-loads of dry food product to local restaurants and partners in cities such as Odesa. We have served nearly 2 million meals in Ukraine.
- Poland: Poland has been WCK’s largest area of operations so far, with nearly 2.3 million refugees entering the country and more continuing to arrive. We are serving meals at eight border crossings and reception centers along the border, and are increasing food support at transportation hubs, shelters, and other sites in large cities such as Krakow and Warsaw, where large numbers of refugees are relocating. WCK’s community kitchen in Przemyśl is steadily ramping up to prepare 10,000+ meals per day. We are serving more than 60,000 meals each day and have provided nearly 1.5 million meals in Poland.
- Moldova: WCK is set up at all five border crossings along the Ukraine/Moldova border and is partnering with 20+ suppliers to deliver meals to refugees in shelters in Chișinău. We are serving ~5,500 meals per day and have served more than 165,000 meals in Moldova so far.
Hungary: WCK is providing 2,200 daily meals at Záhony, a border town where trains arrive every day carrying refugees who then continue on to Budapest and beyond.
- Romania: WCK is serving meals at Siret, the busiest border crossing into Romania, and a second crossing on the southeastern border. We are supporting transportation hubs in Bucharest, serving more than 10,000 meals per day. We’ve served 240,000 meals so far.
- Spain: WCK is providing 3,000 meals/day from our food truck in Madrid and a local restaurant, supporting shelters and churches housing refugees.
- Slovakia: WCK is serving 350 meals per day to refugees at the train station in Košice.