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Food relief organization holds training on preparing food in disaster events

The training held Monday included volunteer management, sandwich-making, mass production and distribution logistics.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — To help prepare people for disaster events, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is holding training for those interested in learning how to cook large amounts of food for many people.

WCK is an organization that works to provide food relief, including training programs and serving food after events like hurricanes and other natural disasters.

In Grand Rapids, WCK scheduled two training opportunities that cover a variety of skills, including volunteer management, sandwich-making, mass production and distribution logistics. One program was held on Monday in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education kitchen.

“So we are here today, we're doing our chef relief training, which is basically a blueprint of what WCK is and what WCK does, and emergency responses and teaching people how the sets of skills of chefs can be utilized on a disaster relief or emergency response scenario,” said lead chef trainer and international chef lead Alejandro Perez.

Perez experienced Hurricane Maria in 2017, an event that shaped his outlook. He said his community was without power or water for three months.

“Access to food was scarce, and even if you could find food, it was hours and hours and hours online,” Perez said. “So when WCK would roll up with hot food ready to eat, it was like Christmas every single day. And it gave us hope, it gave us a little bit of relief.”

A second training session will take place Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Community College.

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