As Ukraine shakes to the bombs and shells of an aggressive Russia and those who are able to flee for their lives, a humanitarian crisis is rapidly developing on the eastern edge of Europe – and people across the world are wondering what they can do to help.
Since MFM is all about changing the world one meal at a time, we’re inspired by Food For All, a UK charity that turns food that would otherwise go to waste into fantastic nutritious meat free meals for the community. It is now extending its reach to Ukraine, and raising funds to bring healthy and sustaining food to the innocent people of the besieged country.
Peter O’Grady, director of Food For All, plans to travel to Ukraine this weekend with four Ukrainian-British cooks and begin cooking 8,000 vegan meals a day for those in need. A van and trailer will carry equipment including cooking pots, gas burners and canisters, as well as vital ingredients such as dhal, rice and spices. The rest of the food will be bought in Poland. A sister organisation, Food For Life Global, will provide culinary assistance on the ground in Ukraine.
The plan is then to build a kitchen and begin distributing food, while at the same time training others to continue the work once O’Grady and his team return home. They intend to donate the kitchen and all the equipment to those who remain in Ukraine, so the good work can continue. They have plenty of experience helping those in dire straits, having provided food to victims of disasters in Sri Lanka, Haiti and Nepal.
The initiative will cost about £22,000, for the kitchen, vehicles and expenses, with an additional £5,000 or so required every week for ingredients, gas and food boxes. Food For All was set up in 1988 and awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups – in September.