Charity food production chain reaches out to displaced people in Dnipro, Ukraine
Alla Dubovyk, a single mother of six, is among thousands of Ukrainians who have received meal parcels from the charity set up by businessman Vladyslav Shtipelman and the World Central Kitchen in Dnipro since the start of the Russian invasion.
“Unfortunately, we Ukrainians have been brought to a situation where we have to use humanitarian aid,” Dubovyk said. Shtipelman and the World Central Kitchen set up a food packaging factory in Dnipro to provide groceries and meals to internally displaced people.
Using a production line, volunteers pack vegetables and other produce into bags which are loaded onto trucks and delivered to villages around Dnipro where the refugees are staying. “The biggest challenges were getting everything up and running, literally in days to build the conveyors, establish the technology chains, the processes,” Shtipelman said.
World Central Kitchen, a US-based non-governmental organization that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate and community crises, says it supplies food to more than 2,000 distribution sites in Ukraine. Olga Karachova said she worked as a wedding planner before the war and before becoming a kitchen volunteer.
“We understood the situation, that we don’t have time to think or rest, we just have to work hard now,” Karachova said in English. In the early days of the war, the Dnipro kitchen prepared around 500 meals a day. Now the number hovers between 5,000 and 7,000 meals, she said.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its third month, has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians, displaced millions of Ukrainians and reduced cities to rubble. Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the allegation of fascism is baseless and the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.
Larysa, a 73-year-old English teacher who declined to give her last name and who was collecting meal parcels, said she was from Sievierodonetsk, a town in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine, which was “like a garden” before the invasion. . “Now it’s destroyed, it’s a very big tragedy for my neighbours, for my relatives, for my students,” she said in English. (Written in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly. Editing by Gerry Doyle)
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