• Photos: C4I Ukraine
Support Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels—Meals and Comfort

Koen Carlier - 29 May 2024

Over the years, our team has encountered numerous people in need during hundreds of visits throughout Ukraine: illness, immobility, old age, isolation, and, since February 2022, thousands of refugees escaping the violence of the war. Our efforts to support these Jewish communities across Ukraine, in partnership with local rabbis overseeing soup kitchens, began years ago. We assist those who cannot prepare meals by arranging for local volunteers to deliver food to their homes.

The Bible contains numerous references urging us to help those in need. Our Meals on Wheels initiative is a tangible way to make a difference—simply rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. We launched this effort during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it continues amid the conflict in Ukraine. Even during numerous visits, we realise that having social interaction is so important. We also share the faithfulness of the God of Israel, serving as a bridge of comfort and practical assistance. The tears of gratitude we witness repeatedly leave us profoundly moved.

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” Isaiah 41:17

Roman (born 1947)

Roman was born in Kiev, where he has lived all his life. He never married and has no children. The only relative he has is his sister Said (born 1937), who lives in Israel. He used to work as a train driver and receives a monthly pension of US $90. “You know, I wouldn’t survive this year without your help. Your meals and food packages saved me when I was sick, during the pandemic and this war. I literally have no money to buy enough food. Thanks to you, I enjoy delicious meals twice a week. And, as always, matzah for Passover. But what you did for us when there was no electricity [because of the war, ed.], words cannot describe. I am so grateful.”

Kateryna (born 1938)

Kateryna spent her entire life in Kiev. Now, she is experiencing a terrible war for the second time. Kateryna worked as a nurse. In 1993, she retired. Her monthly pension is US $128. From this pension, she pays about US $55 for utilities. Kateryna was known for her good cooking skills, but now this is very difficult. She suffers from dementia and quite often just forgets to turn the oven off. Her general health is also failing. She has heart problems and also serious problems with her back; it is difficult for her to stand and walk. So our Meals on Wheels is a real relief for her.

Eduard (born 1949)

“I receive meals regularly and I am very grateful to those who help me financially and to those who cook for us. There are so many people involved, and it is a heartwarming act of love. It is always great to realise that there is someone who cares and is not indifferent to the needs of others. However, it is especially important now, during the hardships of the war we face every day. I express my sincere gratitude to our sponsors! May God bless them in a very special way!”

How does it work?
Approximately 12,000 meals are prepared every month in nineteen locations in Ukraine. The needed ingredients are bought at local wholesalers. The meals are then prepared at local soup kitchens. The meals are then packed and provided to Jewish elderly and refugees who are struggling to make ends meet.One meal costs € 5 / US$ 5

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