A Coventry-based charity committed to fighting international hunger, is stepping up its Ukrainian support ahead of the onset of freezing winter temperatures.
Volunteers at Feed The Hungry, which has its headquarters in Binley, are appealing for continued donations to keep pace with escalating demand as thousands more residents prepare to flee the capital Kyiv under the threat of total power loss.
It comes at a time when 40% of Ukraine’s energy system has been destroyed or damaged by the war which has been raging since February. Kyiv’s mayor Vitaliy Klitschko says the majority of people are now moving to rural towns and villages, such as Izmail in the South of the country.
Through its network of six international offices and warehouses, Feed The Hungry has so far delivered over 100 containers or lorries each containing 2,000 tons (2,600 pallets) of aid, into the heart of towns and villages with internally displaced refugees right across Ukraine and Moldova.
Gwyn Williams, International Operations Director for Feed The Hungry, said: “Winter is drawing in fast in Ukraine with temperatures about to drop to below freezing in the coming days as Russia keeps targeting electric and water utility infrastructure.
“Feed the Hungry had been assisting with community programs in the area and were in a good place to add them to our response program. It is a town very typical of the many places we have been delivering aid to in Ukraine throughout this atrocious war.
“With warehouses in Prague and Bucharest we are well equipped to keep a steady flow of aid into Ukraine for as long as it takes. With the help of partner organisations and community groups, we’re helping to put food on the table where it’s needed most, both in Ukraine and in Poland Slovakia, Moldova and Romania, who have been generous in opening their doors to millions of people who have fled the war.”
Feed The Hungry are running events to pack food parcels for Ukrainian Refugees in Eastern Europe. People can support this effort by sponsoring either a full pallet or a number of food parcels. Donations will help to provide resource and defray the cost of shipping in order to get the parcels to people who have lost everything.
Further information about how to support these events or donate, can be found here
CASE STUDY: ROSA
Rosa is an 18-year-old Ukrainian Muslim who, at the beginning of the war, fled to the Czech Republic with her mother and younger sister, before being separated from them because she was pregnant as the authorities felt she needed separate housing.
Roza’s mother and sister ended up in Ostrava, Roza in Brno where the local church helped her find a small apartment on the outskirts of the city. However, she was sadly to be driven out by anti-Muslim threats from within her local community.
Following the Russian army’s retreat from Kyiv, Roza reunited with her mother and they returned home, only to learn the tragic news that her husband had been killed in action and their home destroyed by enemy artillery.
Roza is now staying with her late husband’s father-in-law who is elderly and frail and unable to work.
Daniel Skokan, who heads Feed The Hungry’s Prague office, recalled: “When we heard Roza’s story, we made an effort to find her and make sure that every month, from the aid sent by FTH to Ukraine, she receives a package of food to feed both herself, her baby and its grandfather.
“At the moment the electricity is out and they just can’t afford it. Their water is not running and probably won’t be available soon either. She has no money. Even if she had, the shops near her are almost empty and what is available is very expensive. She lives on what the church which receives help from Feed The Hungry provides.”
Daniel added: “This is just typical of the sort of stories we deal with every day. Every life counts, every person has value, every person is worth fighting for and we are grateful for all the partner organisation, companies, communities and individuals who have donated towards fighting attrition with generosity of heart.
“From the drivers that can queue for five days or more at border crossings and then drive hundreds of miles across Ukraine, to distribution centres and feeding centres in churches and community centres, cooking and sorting food seven days a week. To people here at home ready to donate finances, volunteer to pack and deliver food to our warehouses in Coventry.”
Alex Ilash, Pastor of a Church in Izmail, has seen first hand the difference the food donations are making in his city, one of seven districts of Odesa Oblast, stretching along the Danube River.
“Everyone here is most grateful for the much-needed and timely support. People are happier and we are thankful to Feed the Hungry for reaching out to help us in these dark days.”
Feed The Hungry Factfile
- Feed The Hungry is an international Christian humanitarian organisation committed to fighting hunger due to poverty, war, famine and natural disasters. The charity works to reduce world hunger by establishing feeding programs following disaster relief operations in 21 different countries worldwide. With its partner organisations, since 1987, Feed The Hungry have globally assisted in feeding over 420,000 children every day in 25 countries. Feed The Hungry also provides disaster relief recovery programs through its network of community programs around the globe.
- Partners include: It Works Netherland, Red Wings UAE and UK, Rise Against Hunger, Rotary UK and Ireland and various local businesses, churches and individuals.
- According to the United Nations, at least 7 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid and protection. In addition to the more than 7 million refugees outside the country, an estimated 7 million people have been displaced within Ukraine, meaning that nearly one of every three Ukrainians has been forced from their homes.
- Refugees have fled to countries across Europe including Poland, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary, where they have been widely welcomed by governments and local communities. However, experts warn that as the conflict drags on, host community resources are being stretched — requiring support for local services that benefit both host community members and refugees.
- With over 7 million fleeing Ukraine as of early September, this has become the largest human displacement crisis in the world today, according to the N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
- N. agencies have observed a dramatic increase in global hunger, which was already on the rise, as conflict has complicated the delivery of critical food exports from Ukraine.