World Central Kitchen and Tyler Florence Feed Californians Affected by Wildfires
The nonprofit, founded by José Andrés, has been on the ground in California since the Kincade fire began.
Earlier this month, José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen reached over one million meals served in the Bahamas, where WCK team members and volunteers mobilized to provide food and water in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Now, there’s another Chef Relief Team active in California as multiple wildfires burn—the Kincade, Tick, and Getty fires.
The first fire, the Kincade Fire, broke out in Sonoma County on October 23, and The Washington Post reports that as of Sunday night, over 66,200 acres had burned and the fire was only five percent contained.
Nearly 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate, the largest number on record for Sonoma County. But World Central Kitchen was prepared.
Andrés tweeted on October 24 that World Central Kitchen was already stationed in Sonoma County to provide relief for those affected by the fire, and they’ve been on the ground since serving meals to residents and first responders.
Team members had hot chili ready for firefighters who were battling the blaze in 24-hour shifts on October 25; chef Jason Collis of WCK logged on October 25 and 26 to give updates about the fire from Geyserville and Santa Rosa.
Chef and cookbook author Tyler Florence also joined the efforts—on October 27, he provided a video update from the fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, where “just under 1,000 people” were at the shelter. He was cooking a pot of Thai green curry filled with vegetables and chicken, which was served over rice for lunch. (A vegetarian option was available as well.) Later that day, he tweeted from his own account that World Central Kitchen had served just under 6,000 meals at the fairgrounds.
In response to the Tick Fire in Santa Clarita, which started on October 24, World Central Kitchen tweeted on October 26 that they were providing fresh meals for residents at Red Cross shelters—The Los Angeles Times reported Monday morning that the fire was 78 percent contained, and over 4,600 acres had burned.
The Getty Fire is the latest to break out, starting as a brush fire in Los Angeles near the Getty Center around 1:30 am Monday morning. World Central Kitchen hasn’t provided any on-the-scenes coverage or updates from the fire yet, but the account retweeted a map of evacuation orders from Los Angeles County.
If you’d like to help with the relief efforts, there are a few different options. Florence tweeted that interested volunteers could DM him—kitchen experience is preferable, but “if you have a strong back and can handle a knife, we’ll take you,” he wrote.
You can also sign up to volunteer in Northern California, although World Central Kitchen noted that "the situation is rapidly changing" via Twitter, and donations can be given through World Central Kitchen’s site.