Rotarians leading the way in tackling world hunger - The Leamington Observer

Rotarians leading the way in tackling world hunger

ROTARIANS in Coventry and Warwickshire are helping to lead the way in tackling world hunger with the return of their food packing initiative in partnership with Feed The Hungry.

It will be all hands on deck when members of The Rotary Club of Warwick, Southam, Leamington, Kenilworth and Henley, together with Coventry Jubilee, Coventry Phoenix and Coventry Breakfast join volunteers from Feed The Hungry charity and others, to pack nearly 30,000 meals to be sent to children in Africa.

Feed The Hungry is also stepping up its Ukrainian support ahead of the onset of freezing winter temperatures.

Volunteers at the charity, 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 per cent of Ukraine’s energy system has been destroyed or damaged by the war which has been raging since February.

Kyiv’s mayo 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 also 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.

This month’s food packing event marks a welcome return for the initiative after two years and organisers are inviting as many people as possible to lend their support, at Feed The Hungry’s warehouse in Binley, on Saturday (November 19), filling roles including packers, admin staff and car park marshals.

Jasminder Dhaliwal, of Heart of England Rotary, said: “Rotary is working hard to reduce Hunger in the UK and overseas. 821 million people in the world don’t get the food they need.”

The food packs, which each feed six people, contain rice, lentils, soya and multivitamin sachets, were funded by a £9,500 Rotary donation and will be distributed by Feed The Hungry.

Anyone who would like to be involved in the event on November 19 can contact Jonathan Wilding on either 01384 423834 or [email protected]

Further information about how to support other food packing events or donate, can be found at feedthehungry.org.uk/ukraine-food-packs/

Case study

Roza 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.

“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.

“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.”

 

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