The nonprofit, founded by José Andrés, mobilized in Southern California to feed residents and first responders. 

By Bridget Hallinan
July 11, 2019
ALEX EDELMAN/Getty Images

The work José Andrés has done with his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen—an organization that sets up satellite kitchens to help feed victims of natural disasters and people in need—is tireless. The chef and humanitarian was on the ground in Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Maria, serving nearly four million meals, and led the #ChefsForFeds movement in January to help provide furloughed workers with free meals during the government shutdown. His humanitarian efforts have even earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination—and the World Central Kitchen momentum isn’t stopping any time soon. For the past few days, volunteers have mobilized in Southern California after two earthquakes (magnitude 6.4 and 7.1) rocked Ridgecrest last week, the largest earthquake to hit the area in nearly 20 years. 

World Central Kitchen’s Twitter account started providing updates on earthquake relief efforts as early as July 5, and the team was on the scene after the first 6.4 earthquake. According to the official WCK site, while team members were on the ground with the Red Cross (who they’ve partnered with to feed and shelter victims), the second 7.1 earthquake hit, which was 11 times stronger than the first and caused significant damage to Ridgecrest and surrounding towns, like Trona. Volunteers quickly started a relief kitchen at Murray Middle School, and began delivering fresh meals to the Red Cross shelter and first responders at the Ridgecrest Emergency Operations Center over the weekend. WCK has also been active in Trona, distributing meals to residents while they picked up water, and, with some help from locals, delivering meals door-to-door for people who have been unable to leave their homes.

Throughout the past few days, the account has also highlighted some meals that WCK volunteers are currently preparing for those affected by the earthquakes. July 6 saw smoked paprika roasted chicken over a stewed tomato and bell pepper rice, with citrus glaze and cilantro; the next day was teriyaki and pineapple tri-tip stir fry over roasted corn and long grain rice. On July 8, a local volunteer named Tammy showed users around the relief kitchen in Ridgecrest, where several people were manning a giant pot similar to what Andrés used to make paella en masse while he was in Puerto Rico. Most recently, WCK tweeted step-by-step instructions for making one of their favorite recipes—slow braised pork pastor—and also posted an impressive time-lapse showing how #ChefsForCalifornia volunteers quickly prepare 1,000 sandwiches. (It involves a lot of assembly lines.)

According to World Central Kitchen’s website, volunteers will continue to be on the ground in Ridgecrest and Trona—to help out, you can donate via the site.

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