World Central Kitchen says it has supplied 50 million meals in Gaza

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World Central Kitchen has delivered more than 50 million meals in Gaza and hopes to continue to expand in the war-torn area, according to the aid group, which suspended operations in April when seven of its workers were killed by an Israeli strike.

The aid group said it now has two main kitchens in operation in Gaza, and another 65 community kitchens spread throughout the small seaside enclave. The US-based charity founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres restarted operations about a month after the airstrike.

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The deaths on April 1 triggered widespread condemnation and demands from Israel’s allies, including the United States, for an explanation.

The group had almost 100 trucks cross the border from Egypt last week, giving the team much needed supplies to restock all of the kitchens, spokeswoman Linda Roth said at a briefing.

World Central Kitchen also plans to open a new supply route this week in Jordan, where authorities have been very cooperative, Roth said. It is working to distribute ready-to-eat meal boxes in Gaza as well as hot meals, she said.

“We are continuing this work with our Palestinian partners. We have about 400 Palestinian response board members and hundreds and hundreds of more volunteers that are working to feed everyone in Gaza. It’s Palestinians feeding Palestinians,” Roth said.

Israel has been under rising international pressure to alleviate severe hunger in Gaza, which has been shattered by Israel’s offensive against the Palestinian group Hamas.

The conflict began after Hamas attacks on southern Israel on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures.

Since then, much of the densely populated territory has been laid waste and most of its 2.3 million population displaced. More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the health ministry in the enclave.

The WCK aid workers were killed when their convoy was hit shortly after they oversaw the unloading of 100 tons of food brought to Gaza by sea. Israel’s military expressed “severe sorrow” over the incident and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it unintentional.

There are no WCK operations in the north of Gaza, which is harder for aid convoys to reach from the southern crossings that are open, said John Torpey, the kitchen’s Middle East activation manager.

“The communication is still pretty terrible,” he said. “It’s hard to talk to our convoys.”

There are some areas food is not getting to in Gaza and there are a lot of areas where people are struggling to find clean water, he said.

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“We’re always looking to expand as much as possible,” Torpey said.

At least 196 humanitarian workers have been killed in Gaza since October, according to the United Nations.

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