Visit Jackson, World Central Kitchen and Jackson Restaurants Unite to Feed Jacksonians

March 23, 2021

Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen delivers hot meals to cars during a recent meal drive at Forest Hill High School.

Visit Jackson served as the liaison between World Central Kitchen (WCK) and Jackson restaurant partners to provide hot meals to those in need during February and March 2021 following a February ice storm.

WCK worked with local restaurants to provide hundreds of meals daily. More than 38,000 meals from 15 different restaurants were purchased and distributed at pre-determined pick-up locations in Jackson. This partnership resulted in an estimated economic impact (EEI) of more than $304,000 for the Jackson economy.

“We are fortunate that World Central Kitchen invested in the Jackson community and supported our fantastic restaurants,” said Rickey Thigpen, President and CEO of Visit Jackson. “The ability to share healthy meals from some of our Jackson culinary giants, coupled with positive economic impact for an industry that has been impacted so tremendously over the past year, is invaluable.”

Utilizing their partnerships with Jackson restaurants, Visit Jackson reached out and pre-determined the restaurant’s interest and capability to take on an order that ranged from 100 to 500 meals. Once selected, the restaurant’s information was shared with WCK’s local contact, who then scheduled a date/time and took care of payment.

Due to local restaurants’ willingness to participate, WCK was able to increase the number of drop-off locations in the three weeks they served Jackson.

About World Central Kitchen

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of need. WCK has served more than 50 million fresh meals to people in need by paying local restaurants to cook fresh meals while getting food to hungry people and keeping restaurants and their teams open and working.

About Visit Jackson

Visit Jackson is the official destination leadership organization for the city of Jackson. The bureau serves Jackson by positively impacting the city’s economy through recruitment and procurement of meetings and tourism activities.

Created in 1983, Visit Jackson acts as a quasi-independent government agency reauthorized by the state legislature and governed by an independently appointed board of directors with members representing the hotel, restaurant, attraction, art, and education sectors.

Media Contact: Kim Lewis – or 601.354.2553 for interviews, statements and story ideas.