Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On One Person Making A Difference

 For this special edition of "Notations", we are proud to present this latest snapshot courtesy the team at World Central Kitchen:

Last weekend, a series of more than 12,000 lightning strikes hit California, igniting several of what are now some the largest fires in the state’s history – more than 1 million acres have burned. WCK's Relief Team activated within hours, first establishing a kitchen in Vacaville, 30 minutes west of Sacramento.

Near Vacaville is the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, which in just a week, has become the second largest fire in California history. Hundreds of structures have been destroyed, and thousands forced to flee their homes into shelters and state-provided hotel rooms.

Our first meal out the door was Chef Elsa's beef teriyaki stir fry over cilantro rice served with salad, Chef Jason's homemade chili for firefighters, as well as WCK ham & cheese sandwiches.

South of San Francisco, two large fires — CZU Lightning Complex & SCU Lightning Complex — continue to threaten communities and force mandatory evacuations. To support families evacuated and firefighters on the front lines, we opened a second kitchen and activated WCK partner restaurants from San Francisco to San Mateo to Santa Cruz to prepare nourishing meals.

Because of the unprecedented scale of this crisis, fire agencies across Northern California are stretched thin, with little support while working 24/7. We're working hard to make sure nobody goes hungry.

Our WCK teams have now delivered thousands of fresh meals to firefighters, affected residents, and others responding to California’s biggest fire crisis in history. And we'll keep cooking. We are grateful for everyone keeping their neighbors safe — and proud to do our part.

Read the full update from California here. The situation on the ground is changing quickly, so for real-time updates, please follow WCK on Twitter and Instagram.
Nearly three weeks ago, on Tuesday, August 4, an explosion at the port in Beirut, Lebanon, devastated the city. The blast was the largest non-nuclear explosion in modern history. More than 200 people lost their lives, thousands were injured, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes. WCK’s Relief Team mobilized urgently, arriving on the ground less than 48 hours after the blast. 

After a week on site, we had ten kitchens cooking—including local restaurants and a larger kitchen under the direction of WCK’s Chef Relief Team. To date, WCK has served more than 115,000 fresh meals to people in need across more than 50 distribution sites. Read more about our efforts in Beirut and stories from the people are working with every day here

On Monday, August 10, Cedar Rapids, Iowa was devastated by an incredibly destructive derecho — a storm with Category 3 hurricane-force winds. Thousands of homes, vehicles, and buildings were damaged, 50% of the city’s tree canopy was destroyed, and 500,000 people were left without power.

The WCK Relief Team arrived shortly after to provide support, finding many communities still without power nearly a week after the storm. In the time our team spent in Iowa, we served thousands of meals while supporting 20 local restaurants. Thankfully, power has been restored and families are beginning to rebuild. Read more about our response in Iowa here.

WCK's Covid-19 emergency response across the United States has served more than 25 million meals to communities in need. This relief effort began in March, and our teams in cities from Oakland to New York are still going, working with local restaurants to cook for their neighbors. This week, WCK's team in New Orleans served its 1 millionth meal. Check out this story about some of the restaurants and partners who are making this work possible. 

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