We always say it: Our readers have the biggest hearts. And so many of you have been asking how best to help those impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
While the destruction of these beautiful islands is indeed tragic, it’s the human toll that’s just unbearable. The Category 5 hurricane has killed dozens of people, left more than 70,000 people homeless, entirely destroyed homes and businesses, and the search for additional victims continues even now. Considering the US is making it unconscionably difficult for refugees to come here, many hungry, desperate families remain in The Bahamas. .
So what can we do to help those who are still there? Don’t lose hope — look for the helpers. Then be a helper yourself.
Ever since Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico (and the wholly inadequate response to the emergency), we’ve been heavily promoting the work of Chef José Andrés’s humanitarian organization, World Central Kitchen.
I can’t recommend them enough, if you’re looking for a solid, on-the-ground, high-impact organization to support.
The WCK puts themselves right in the middle of disaster areas to serve good, hot, chef-prepared meals to those in need.
They provided a full 3.7 million meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, which helped to earn Chef Andrés a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nomination. (I’m rooting for him!) They’ve done so much good for hungry people in disaster areas around the world, from Guatemala, Haiti and Mozambique; to our own American neighbors, including Californians impacted by the wildfires, North Carolinans hit by Hurricane Florence, and even providing 100,000 meals to DC-area Federal employees during the government shutdown.
As for The Bahamas, they are busy serving 20,000 meals a day on the hardest-hit islands of Nassau, Abaco, and Grand Bahama — and reading about the process required to make it happen is nothing short of remarkable.
A Fortune Bay student, out of school because of flooding, joined WCK in Freeport to prepare and serve meals. Via @WCKitchen on Instagram
To get meals to Abaco and surrounding islands, to makeshift shelters, hospitals, churches, and local neighborhoods, they first have to transport food 80 miles from their kitchen in Nassau via helicopter and seaplane trips. The complexity of this operation means they remain the only organization providing fresh meals each day.
They want to scale up to 30,000 meals a day and can use your help
Since we don’t all have professional kitchens to loan out, we can certainly give money. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to World Central Kitchen — if you can afford $500 or $5, it all makes a difference.
If you want to look for the helpers, I’d suggest following @WCKitchen on Twitter, @WCKitchen on Instagram, and @chefjoseandres on Twitter for encouraging, up-to-the-minute updates from some really incredible people.
All photos © World Central Kitchen