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Flexible map formats and reliable geocoding from Mapbox equip World Central Kitchen to swiftly visualize and inform crisis response to distribute millions of meals worldwide

Key benefits of building with Mapbox

Key benefits of building with Mapbox:

  • Mapbox Studio and GL JS enable rapid map creation essential for crisis response
  • Permanent Geocoding API offers precise location data for quick situational awareness
  • Customized map styles and data layers provide clear, targeted visualization for both on-ground teams and global supporters

products used

Mapbox GL JS


The disaster logistics experts at World Central Kitchen know how to respond quickly and effectively when people are hungry. The non-profit organization, founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, provides fresh meals in response to crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally-led solutions. 

Visualization of the number of meals served by World Central Kitchen since 2010.

Within hours of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis, the WCK relief team is getting meals to first responders and those affected, with help from their internal map application built with GL JS.

Mapbox laid the foundation for GIS work at World Central Kitchen, making us 80% faster in creating the base maps needed urgently in the first days or hours of an emergency response, while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in online mapping platform fees. This is all time and money we can put back into the heart of our work—getting fresh meals to people in need.

Ali Sharman, GIS Specialist, World Central Kitchen
When tornadoes struck the central US in 2021, Mapbox and WCK made an interactive map to show the affected areas and where World Central Kitchen was responding.

Deploying their model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, WCK is able to respond to multiple disasters at once — often on opposite ends of the world. Responding to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, World Central Kitchen coordinates and communicates their distribution of millions of meals, food kits, and bulk product using digital and print maps, produced with support from Mapbox volunteers.

Maps are like a north star. They are the DNA of what World Central Kitchen is. They tell a story of who and where you are helping, and give you a sense of what’s really going on, and who needs help, sometimes in very, very big spaces. The support and commitment from our friends at Mapbox make this possible, and also helps us share our work with others.

Chef José Andrés, Founder, World Central Kitchen
President Biden and Chef José Andrés review print maps of WCK's operations in Ukraine and neighboring countries, along with live data in WCK’s internal app.

During the Covid-19 pandemic WCK’s Chefs for America efforts distributed 35+ million meals across the United States, data which World Central Kitchen then visualized in an interactive map built with GL JS for their annual report.

An interactive data visualization of the routes for the millions of meals distributed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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