Last week, World Central Kitchen’s Chef Relief Team touched down in Cúcuta, on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, to conduct an initial assessment of the situation and build connections with local partners.

There’s widespread hunger amongst Venezuelans – and has been for quite some time. Before the borders closed, it’s estimated that 40,000 Venezuelans were crossing the border for food and other essential supplies each day.

This weekend, trucks attempting to bring aid and supplies to Venezuela were burned amidst a conflict on the Francisco de Paula Santander bridge between the two countries. As a result, both Colombia and Venezuela have closed their borders, leaving thousands of Venezuelans in need of support. Living in tents, unable to go home, and with no basic necessities, the situation for these families could not be more dire.

As a humanitarian organization, World Central Kitchen is not engaged in the politics of this crisis, but rather are here solely to support those in need. We stand with the people of Venezuela, who deserve relief, and the people of Colombia, as they help their neighbors. Food has no sides, no agenda. 

We’re now working alongside a series of local partners to distribute basic meals – sandwiches and bagged lunches – to ease the burden. In the coming days, more members of WCK’s #ChefReliefTeam will be arriving on the ground as we begin the process of scaling up into a full operation, so that we can start serving the nutritious, hot meals that WCK is known for.

World Central Kitchen continues to monitor the situation and will be issuing frequent updates; follow #ChefsForVenezuela on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.