Volunteers with the international organization team up with local chefs and kitchens and distribute meals to shelters. Between
Mook said the sheer size of Hurricane Florence and its anticipated destruction drew the group to
"It was very clearly going to be a very large storm with the potential for a tremendous impact," Mook said.
Andres, named one of Time's Most Influential People, started
But the organization is likely best known for its work last year in
While the relief group has become somewhat famous for its response to disasters, this will be the first one it will experience itself. Instead of arriving after the storm, Mook said World Central Kitchen thought they would have greater control if they arrived before the floodwaters determined mobility.
"It's something we learned from the challenges of
With the storm lapping at the coast, Thursday's meals were largely served to first responders and any evacuees at nearby shelters. The bulk of the work will come once the rains come and go and the Carolinas will take its first stock of Hurricane Florence.
Mook said the group is in the state to bring the lessons it has learned from past disasters to scale them up for a large local response.
"We're software not hardware," Mook said. "This isn't an outside savior coming in and fixing things. We work with local partners, local farmers and suppliers and vendors, like Sysco here. We have the capacity, experience, resources, but we're reliant on working with local folks.
"You want to be able to support folks in the aftermath," Mook said. "A lot of folks left
"Obviously tomorrow is the day," Kilcoyne said. "Right now we don't know."
Andres is currently on a tour promoting the release of his book "We Fed an Island," recounting his work feeding
He also made headlines Thursday for criticizing
In response, Andres wrote on Twitter: "You are the face of"No shame"! That actually people died in the days, weeks and months after María, only shows how little you care. Those deaths happen on your watch."
But immediately after that, Mook said Andres will be in
"He's planning to be here, wherever the need is going to be," Mook said.
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