Your Miami HEAT has partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK) and Direct Relief to provide support to affected communities in Southwest Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The HEAT and the Micky & Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have made a $1,000,000 donation—$500,000 to WCK, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond, and $500,000 to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies.

“In South Florida, we are all too familiar with the lasting impacts of such a powerful storm,” said Eric Woolworth, President of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Understanding that the aftermath of Hurricane Ian will stretch into months and possibly years, our hope is that the services provided by World Central Kitchen and Direct Relief will help our neighbors in Southwest Florida to get back on their feet.”

WCK is currently serving nourishing meals to communities between Tampa and Naples, including Port Charlotte, Cape Coral and Fort Myers, in multiple Lee County hospitals, Sanibel and Pine Islands and other severely impacted areas. Within hours of the storm's passing, WCK has prepared and distributed more than 800,000 meals and continues to show up daily to feed the hardest hit communities.

Direct Relief continues to respond to Hurricane Ian’s impacts across the state of Florida. The organization is currently coordinating multiple rapid-response shipments of medical aid across the state and will continue to respond to requests in the coming days and weeks. Since the storm made landfall, Direct Relief has delivered more than 130 emergency shipments of medicines and supplies to approximately 60 healthcare facilities throughout the affected areas. Items sent have included emergency medical backpacks, insulin, tetanus vaccines, chronic disease medications, hygiene kits, and other over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

About World Central Kitchen

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) has created a new model for disaster response through its work helping devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. WCK has served more than 50 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world in countries including The Bahamas, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Venezuela, and the United States. WCK’s Resilience Programs in the Caribbean and Central America have trained hundreds of chefs and school cooks, advanced clean cooking practices, and awarded grants to farms, fisheries and small food businesses while also providing training and networking opportunities. Learn more at wck.org.

About Direct Relief

Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.