I am blessed to announce our biggest initiative to date. We are launching a Food Program for Ukraine. Two thirds of our country is not working, about 5 million people have gone abroad. After 3 – 4 months of the war, we have a huge number of unemployed people, forced to live on modest benefits paid by the state. Reported economic decline is nearing 50%. There is a looming severe humanitarian crisis. In the war-torn regions of Ukraine, people are solely relying on humanitarian aid supplies and modest reserves that quickly run out.
Analysts predict if the situation does not improve by September 1st, and children begin to start school in Europe, up to 50% of those who left will likely not return. This will have a tremendous negative impact on consumer markets, the labor market, and in the long run – on the demographics and economy of our whole country.
Observing the growing humanitarian crisis firsthand, we decided to launch an organized Food Program.
This is a two-tier program:
Tier 1 is for residents of war affected regions residing within 100 km range from the frontlines.
Tier 2 is for communities around the country hosting large numbers of refugees.
The idea is simple. Instead of buying and shipping food from abroad, we decided to identify and support the local Ukrainian food producers still in operation and buy from them. The goal is to feed the hungry in war-torn regions and sustain jobs within Ukraine. The program will then phase out as soon as the government will be able to restore supply chains and revive channels of social support. Our food box is 60% cheaper in comparison to the same kind of food box purchased and shipped from abroad. Also, the packing line we have set up will provide jobs for the refugees staying at Camp Maximum and trying to start a new life in Zolotonosha.
After several weeks of sourcing and bidding we created a list of Ukrainian producers with capacity to deliver up to 50,000 food items per week. We’ve put together a 100% Ukrainian food box that costs only $10.00 and contains a balanced, nutritious supply of food, sufficient to feed one person for a week.
A local production facility agreed to print the first 10,000 boxes for our program. The food boxes will be delivered by our fleet of cargo vans and distributed through a thoroughly selected network of partners, who are committed to make deliveries to the door and go to smaller towns and villages not served by large international NGO’s.
This week we are launching Tier 1 program. 130,000 food items are already in our warehouse. In the next days we will pack up the first batch of 10,000 food boxes! Shepherd’s Foundation is funding the majority cost of this first batch. We are planning to double the amount of food boxes in the next couple of weeks. This will allow us to start Tier 2 of the program. We are now in prayer that God will direct these resources to places with the most urgent needs.
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