World Central Kitchen’s rise as one of the world’s most agile and far-flung emergency feeding operations has been fueled by two powerful forces: chefs who know how to organize kitchens quickly in the most extreme circumstances, and the undeniable charisma of Jose Andres, a wealthy, well-connected chef and restaurateur driven to feed people in disaster zones even when it seems impossible.

On Monday, seven workers from the organization were killed by an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. They had just unloaded 100 tons of food at a warehouse in Deir al Balah, a city in the central Gaza Strip, and were headed out in a car branded with the organization’s logo and two armored vehicles. One of those killed was a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and the others were from Australia, Britain, Gaza and Poland.

"I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family,” Andres said in a statement on the social media platform X. The organization has stopped feeding people there while it assesses what to do next.