Members of World Central Kitchen, the humanitarian initiative established 12 years ago by chef José Andrés (Jaleo, Disney Springs), were injured Saturday in a missile attack while serving food from a relief kitchen in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. Four staff members of Yaposhka, a ghost kitchen being used by WCK, were hospitalized with burns, some severe, after the Russian attack. All have since been released and have returned to duties.
WCK has been known for setting up stations to serve food to people in traumatizing situations, usually following natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. It also leapt into action in New York to provide food to first responders following the recent terrorist shooting in the subway. This is the first time it has set up operations in a war zone. It is serving nearly 300,000 meals daily in the war-torn country
Even before Saturday’s attack, several local fundraisers had been planned to benefit WCK’s efforts in Ukraine and the region, including neighboring countries that are taking in refugees. Now, those efforts seem even more urgent.
You can help by participating in one of these fundraising events. You can also make a contribution directly to the organization at World Central Kitchen.
On Thursday, April 21, website and flog-friend Tasty Chomps is partnering with Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi restaurants to donate 25 percent of all sales that
day to WCK. The fundraiser is available at all Central Florida Bentos and customers should say “TastyChomps” when ordering in person or use that codeword if ordering online.
Hari Pulapaka’s Global Cooking School is hosting a Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fundraiser to benefit WCK on Saturday, April 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Center at Deltona. John Rivers, Kevin Fonzo and Toni Elkhouri are among the chefs who will be participating in the sit-down, multicourse dinner. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased here.
Next month, on May 21, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and the Adam Michael Rosen Foundation will host Feeding Ukraine: A Night of Food and Drinks at Rosen Shingle Creek from 6 to 10 p.m. in support of Andrés and World Central Kitchen. It will be a walkabout food and beverage event featuring chefs from throughout Central Florida. The evening will also feature a silent auction, live entertainment and an open bar. Tickets are $200 per person and can be purchased on the event page.
Harris Rosen, who founded the organization in memory of his late son, in a release, “My dad’s parents came to America from Ukraine, so I have roots in that region.” Rosen is also inviting area chefs who would like to help the effort to participate in the event. Leave a message at 407-996-4475 or find more contact information on the event page.