Friday, January 27, 2023

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From the Midwest to Eastern Europe, Meal Program Helps Ukranian Refugees

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022   

Images from Ukraine and its fight for survival against Russia tug at the heartstrings of Americans, and those wishing to donate to relief organizations might have a hard time choosing.

A hunger-fighting group in the Midwest said it can quickly put support to good use.

The Midwest Food Bank recently began shipping its "Tender Mercies" meals to Europe. One of its partner organizations has a large facility there, making it easier to get the meals to Ukrainians who have fled their home country.

Mike Hoffman, inventory and logistics director for the Midwest Food Bank, said having the logistics in place hopefully makes it easier for people not sure about where to send their donation.

"It's not just sending food in, it's having the whole chain covered," Hoffman explained. "And in the end, the people are getting it that really need it."

Those who donate to the effort can allow Midwest Food Bank to prepare more meals for shipment. The Tender Mercies packages focus heavily on nutritional components such as rice and beans with chicken flavoring. Each meal shipment contains about 240,000 servings.

Hoffman added the Midwest Food Bank is consistently rated highly by the independent evaluator Charity Navigator. He hopes it is another reason to compel more people to donate to the effort. He pointed out the meals will provide substantial nutrition for individuals dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty for the foreseeable future.

"This isn't anything that's going to be ... as soon as the war is over, everything's gonna be fine," Hoffman stressed.

He emphasized the humanitarian effort to help those recover will be a long process. Several million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began.


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