Nate Mook on Feeding Everyone
Nate Mook is the CEO of World Central Kitchen. World Central Kitchen is is an organization founded by chef José Andrés that has been providing meals to people in the wake of natural disasters since 2010. WCK fed Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria, Texans after Hurricane Harvey, federal workers after the government shut down in 2019, the Grand Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of San Francisco due to a COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, and many others. In 2020, they have focused their efforts on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by using and staffing local restaurants to provide the meals, thereby creating jobs for unemployed restaurant workers while also feeding millions of people at risk of going hungry. To date, they have provided over 33 million meals in over 400 cities.
We chatted with Nate about how he got into this work, how they manage to solve seemingly intractable problems that even FEMA was unable to, and how we should be thinking about food policy in this country so that we don't need to rely on organizations like World Central Kitchen to keep people fed.