5 months and 365,000 meals after Cyclone Idai, WCK is still cooking in Mozambique

Following Cyclone Idai in March, WCK set up emergency food relief efforts for the very first time in Africa, activating #ChefsForMozambique in Beira, Mozambique. Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical storms to ever hit Southern Africa, and when we arrived, more than 400,000 people were displaced and 1.85 million people were in need. And although it has been 5 months since the cyclone hit, the crisis is not over.

According to Refugees International, between Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth, which hit northern Mozambique in April, nearly 2 million acres of crops were destroyed. A majority of that land will remain unusable for the next harvest that normally begins in November, meaning most communities in Mozambique and Zimbabwe will remain food insecure for months to come. This is why we are still cooking in Mozambique.

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Immediately following Cyclone Idai, WCK’s Chef Relief Team utilized our model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, to quickly began preparing fresh-cooked meals for families affected by the disaster. In the weeks following, we were serving more than 10,000 meals each day.

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Now, 5 months after #ChefsForMozambique began, we have served more than 365,000 meals to the impacted community, and we’re still cooking.

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In May, as the recovery process moved forward, and camps housing those displaced were closed, our Chef Relief Team transitioned operations to a local team under the direction of Ruy Santos and his Makobo Platform.

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This local team is now preparing meals out of the kitchen we built in Mezimbite, Mozambique. Mezimbite lies to the north of Beira, where Cyclone Idai came ashore. The community here relies on farming to survive, but the harvest was destroyed in the cyclone, devastating the area.

WCK’s local team preparing meals for 2000 kids at the kitchen we built in Mezimbite.

From the kitchen in Mezimbite, the local team is cooking more than 2,000 meals each day. The fresh, nutritious meals are being served to children at two schools, Mussassa Escoala Primaria and Mezimbite Escoala Primaria, and at Bom Samaritano Orfanato, an orphanage in the neighboring community of Muda.

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Each day, our team works to ensure the children we serve receive healthy meals packed with nutrients. These students are enjoying spaghetti served with beans and veggies!

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And as with all WCK meals, it all starts with fresh ingredients!

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World Central Kitchen