WATCH: The Future of WCK

Hear from WCK founder Chef José Andrés on our vision for 2019 and read his letter below. We can't do it without you!

Dear friends,

As my family and I welcomed the New Year yesterday, I couldn't help but reflect on 2018 and what it has meant to World Central Kitchen. It was just one month ago that I found myself walking through the ashes of the town of Paradise in Northern California. As hard as it was to see so much destruction, as I have many times this past year, there was still room for hope.

Just a mile away, volunteers with World Central Kitchen, donning aprons with our bright, colorful logo, were serving up a proper Thanksgiving dinner from a motel-turned-evacuee shelter. I met many families who had lost everything — yet I was touched by their incredible spirit of resiliency. From the ashes, hope.

When World Central Kitchen began eight years ago, we had a simple mission: to use the power of food as an agent of change in communities around the world. 2018 was the year that helped us define that purpose.

As our Food First Responders have traveled to the front lines of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, and wildfires, we've found that time and time again, there has always been a way to bring some light to the darkness. For me, that was and will always be a humble plate of food — the ability to fill the stomach, nourish the soul, and be reminded that somehow, someway, everything will be all right.

And you've been with us every step of the way.

We're grateful for your support as we've served over 3 million meals this year in Puerto Rico, California, Hawaii, Guatemala, Indonesia, North Carolina, Florida, and Mexico. As I write this, members of our Chef Relief Team are hard at work feeding refugee families in Tijuana and tsunami survivors in Indonesia. And we continue to invest in the dreamers and doers through programs like Plow to Plate and our Culinary School.

As we begin 2019, I invite you to join us as we dream big for World Central Kitchen and continue to live into our truest mission: "Where there's a fight so that hungry people may eat, we will be there."

We're just getting started. Thanks for helping us keep up the fight.