World Central Kitchen arrives to feed western Alaskans
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Cities and villages in Western Alaska received a surprise visit this week from the nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen.
The organization delivers supplies to areas affected by natural disasters and was founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres after a massive earthquake devastated communities in Haiti. The World Central Kitchen website says “after a disaster, food is the fastest way to rebuild our sense of community.”
“We respond to food relief,” So, we act with an immediate urgency of now, and we [want] to make sure that communities have access to fresh food and water,” Lucy Shpak with World Central Kitchen said.
This was Shpak’s first time visiting Alaska. She says the challenge of delivering food to assist communities affected by this disaster was very different from other operations, due to the remote location of the towns and villages.
“A lot of these communities are very rural, there’s no road access, you have to fly in. So logistically, it’s a little bit challenging,” Shpak said. “Luckily we were able to charter planes and we’ve been working with some amazing pilots. It was a little bit of a challenge but we figured it out.”
The organization has deployed two chartered flights every day since Sept. 18, with each plane carrying up to 1,000 pounds of food. The planes deliver food to towns damaged by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok like Nome and Unalakleet, as well villages like Golovin and Hooper Bay.
It’s a relief for stressed residents, many of whom now live in flooded homes with no electricity.
“A lot of the feedback we received from the communities is that they haven’t received any other kind of help yet. So they were immediately very thankful, grateful that someone was out there to helping them,” Shpak said.
World Central Kitchen said they plan to continue working with communities in western Alaska as they continue to evaluate their needs.
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