World Central Kitchen Hits Louisiana to Feed People Affected by Hurricane Barry
While the storm wasn't as bad as predicted, flooding and power outages left some residents unable to leave their homes.
Earlier this month, World Central Kitchen—a nonprofit founded by chef José Andrés that helps feed victims of natural disasters—was on the scene in Southern California following two earthquakes (magnitudes 6.4 and 7.1), the largest to hit the area in nearly 20 years. The World Central Kitchen relief team arrived and began to mobilize volunteers in Ridgecrest and Trona to set up relief kitchens and deliver meals to residents and first responders, providing Twitter updates on the situation as recently as July 12. Around the same time, additional WCK relief operations team members were already being dispatched to Louisiana to start preparing for Hurricane Barry, which made landfall on Saturday. The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, and the storm surge and flooding thankfully weren’t as bad as predicted, according to CNN; however, there’s still been widespread flooding and rainfall, as well as power outages, and WCK’s relief team reported Monday that they’re delivering meals door-to-door.
WCK first touched down on Thursday and set up relief kitchens in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette to start preparing fresh meals that could be delivered to “multiple regions across the state”—one of the kitchens is located in the recently opened New Orleans School of Culinary and Hospitality (NOCHI), where volunteers have been making meals for surrounding areas such as Houma and Lafayette. Over the past few days, WCK's dishes have included sautéed beef with mushroom and sun-dried tomato sauce over roasted potatoes, along with spinach, apple, roasted tomato and walnut salad; chili mac and cheese penne and Cajun gumbo were also on the menu.
“We like to bridge the gap and bring both comfort food and food that is healthy,” WCK team member Josh Phelps said in a Sunday video update. In addition to feeding residents and first responders, WCK is providing hot meals to animal shelters, where volunteers are taking care of animals displaced by the storm.
The organization also gave a Twitter shoutout to the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta, whose convention—a 15,000-person reunion—was postponed over the weekend. Members who had already arrived stayed to help out with meal preparation at the New Orleans relief kitchen, and a video update from WCK team member Josh Phelps on Sunday shows them working with chefs on a chicken and vegetable stir-fry meal.
As of Monday, WCK is still in Louisiana distributing meals. Yesterday, Sam Bloch, director of field operations at World Central Kitchen, logged on to share the latest updates. Bloch reported from an amphibious vehicle in Delcambre, Louisiana, saying that “a lot of the town has been flooded” and that WCK members are delivering hot food and bottled water to residents who are unable to leave their homes—the mayor of the town came along to point out areas in need.
To keep up with the latest news from World Central Kitchen, follow the official account.