May 28, 2020 – World Central Kitchen (WCK) quickly mobilized in the Baltimore area and, in the span of just a few months, has now served more than 250,000 meals to persons in need – all with no questions asked and completely free.
Each Saturday at the Oriole Park at Camden Yards parking lot, the group distributes pre-packaged meals to families that last for several days. The group also operates meal distribution locations in two different sections of Baltimore City. Recognizing its critical role serving the community, NAIOP Maryland recently gifted World Central Kitchen $10,000 towards its local operations.
The impact of its efforts radiates throughout the region with the opportunities it provides local restaurants and their employees, a sector that has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many of the locally distributed meals prepared by area restaurants, the additional business plays a role in keeping these businesses operating and their employees on the payroll while also preserving the food supply chain.
“The NAIOP-MD Board of Directors believes World Central Kitchen directly impacts our regional Baltimore community of people in need while also providing meaningful business for the restaurants during this difficult time,” explained Jim Lighthizer, NAIOP-MD President. “We encourage others to support this organization or others like it who are feeding our neighbors who are hungry and require assistance.”
World Central Kitchen’s COVID-19 relief response is currently active in nearly 300 cities nationally with its mission defined as using the power of food to heal and strengthen communities after natural or man-made disasters. The pandemic started as a health crisis, lengthened to a humanitarian one and is now a full-blown economic disaster.
With so many people facing lost income, WCK’s goal in Baltimore is to serve people hot, nutritious meals while also maintaining some level of business to local restaurants to keep them afloat. The organization estimates that more than 20,000 meals are distributed each weekend and that World Central Kitchen hopes to remain operational in the area until the crisis passes. Other programs exist locally to provide free meals, so WCK sees itself filling in some gaps. The best way to help WCK is to provide more donations and also to spread the word so more people in need know about the mission and the work.
“We’re thrilled to receive this support from NAIOP Maryland for our efforts to feed communities in Baltimore and beyond,” stated Maggie Leahy, Director of Donor Relations for World Central Kitchen.
More information about WCK’s work with restaurants can be found at www.wck.org/restaurantsforthepeople