This spring break, I traveled to Puerto Rico with little knowledge of the effects Hurricane Maria had on the Island. Through speaking with locals, I learned that this was by far the worst hurricane they had seen in their lifetime, and through exploring different areas, I saw a small glimpse into the wreckage that still endured. One resident estimated that about 80% of the infrastructure had been rebuilt since fall of 2017 when the hurricane hit, but every unroofed building and piece of trash on the side of the road was a physical reminder of the difficulties Puerto Ricans still face. Farmers and agri-businesses suffered damages to their land and practices, leaving the country food insecure. World Central Kitchen is a non-profit that aims to reduce this food insecurity through its global chef network and funding and educational initiatives. In particular, the “Plow to Plate” program allows selected food producers and distributors to apply for funding towards necessary investments such as farm equipment, irrigation systems, seeds, and farm infrastructure. Beyond Puerto Rico, World Central Kitchen has reached other countries devastated by natural disasters such as Brazil, Haiti, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Peru, and Zambia. They are are pioneering an alternative and sustainable solution towards hunger relief due to natural disasters.
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