World Central Kitchen uses the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies
After WCK has led a food relief activation and the emergency is over, we sometimes make an ongoing commitment when we feel we can successfully address chronic food system challenges with our unique mix of talents and resources. Through locally-led approaches, our long-term programs advance human and environmental health, offer access to professional culinary training, create jobs, and improve food security for the people we serve.
Our long-term work began after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, with the belief that food can be an agent of change in distressed communities.
From the very beginning — as our founder Chef José Andrés witnessed the terrible health and environmental impacts of preparing meals on open wood and coal fueled fires — Clean Cooking has been a core program area. Through Food For Thought, WCK has built or rehabilitated 150 school and other community kitchens in Haiti and Guatemala and aims to bring this effort to other countries soon.
We are also working to advance the clean cooking sector as a whole by supporting institutional activities and programs via our in-country partners to increase adoption. Through our profile and human and capital resources, we aim to ensure that greater numbers of women all around the world have affordable access to safer and cleaner cooking solutions in their homes and small businesses.
WCK’s Culinary Training and Development work started with Sink to Stove, a program that offers food safety and sanitation training by culinary professionals to school cooks in underserved communities. To date, WCK has trained more than 520 school cooks responsible for feeding more than 65,000 students in Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras.
Ecole des Chefs is a culinary school in Port-au-Prince, led by one of the most respected chefs in Haiti, Mi-Sol Chevallier. Each year, more than 40 students graduate from the program with the skills and confidence they need to begin their careers as professional chefs in local hotels and restaurants.
And coming soon, our newest education offering will be a Chef Relief Training program that will certify culinary professionals in WCK’s unique methodology of emergency food response.
Finally, after serving nearly 4 million meals in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, WCK conducted an agricultural assessment of Puerto Rico and determined that the best way to continue “feeding an island” was by supporting Puerto Rico’s smallholder farmers. Our Plow To Plate program aims to increase food security in Puerto Rico by providing funding, training, and networking opportunities to smallholder farmers and businesses that support local agriculture.