FoodService News

North Carolina Smokemaster Volunteers with World Central Kitchen

While Robert “Ernie” Adler works in insurance during the week, he spends his weekends by the smoker. What started as a side passion has grown into something much more. After starting to compete professionally in 2005, Adler began catering events and offering BBQ cooking classes.

When Adler heard about the work World Central Kitchen did in the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria, he was impressed and later inspired to volunteer after the war began in Ukraine.

“I just decided early on that simply writing a check to let somebody else do some of that leg work was not enough,” said Adler.

World Central Kitchen accepted Adler’s submission and assigned him to a one-week volunteer program that would require at least 11 hour shifts each day.

“My trip was emotionally and physically exhausting.  Every day we would make about 5,000 panini sandwiches, hot food, salad, soup, and dessert,” said Adler. “We had an incredible team of volunteers and staff from several countries, college age kids, middle age, and seniors—many of whom were there for multiple weeks or trips to help.”

World Central Kitchen has used Cambro GoBoxes to transport their food during countless disasters, including the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Ramiro Arevalo, Manager of Partnerships and Relief Operations at WCK, has previously said:

“Cambros have been completely essential and our lifeline to being able to scale and get people what they need. Without the Cambros, especially these new light boxes, we wouldn’t be able to scale as quickly. [Cam GoBoxes®] are essential to us getting our job done.”

During Adler’s trip, GoBoxes were used to transport food to several border crossings nearby, and to the train station in Przemysl. 

“Cambro boxes were an integral part of the cooking and transport process,” said Adler.

“World Central Kitchen volunteers would greet the incoming train refugees from Ukraine there and feed them, give the kids toys, and just talk if they wanted. It was all mothers and children, or elderly, as men above a certain age physically able to fight are required to stay behind.”

Adler was able to immediately become comfortable preparing and transporting food using the GoBoxes because he uses them for his events and catering.

“At my point in life, I’m looking to lift less weight and when [Cambro] came out with the new GoBoxes, which are a third of the weight, it was like a God send; I use those all the time,” said Adler.

If you would like to help support WCK, click here to donate.


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