More than 1,000 pallets of food latest effort to deliver supplies to those in Ukraine

More than 1,000 pallets of food were delivered to be distributed to people in Ukraine during eight weeks in April and May as part of an emergency relief project. Combined with earlier relief efforts, the Church and its members have donated more than 900 tons of food and other supplies, the Church’s United Kingdom Newsroom reported Friday, June 10. 

The Church offered to help with the recent emergency relief project after a casual introduction to the adviser to the first deputy prime minister in Ukraine. The conflict in the country has limited access to basic items, including ready-cooked canned meals, baby food, flour, pasta and rice, according to U.K. Newsroom. 

Canned meals are loaded and prepared to deliver to provision centers as part of an emergency relief project with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Ukraine government in April and May 2022.
Canned meals are loaded and prepared to deliver to provision centers as part of an emergency relief project with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Ukraine government in April and May 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“When this government adviser reached out to me initially, we connected him with our humanitarian service team and he was very impressed,” said Oleksiy Hakalenko, who works as an area manager for the Church and oversees Church humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. “As he learned more, he became increasingly enthusiastic about partnering with the Church on this multifaceted food donation project.”

The relief project was to deliver food to centers and warehouses in Poland and Romania, and then the government entities in Ukraine would use their established transportation networks to ship the supplies to where they were needed in Ukraine. 

Read more: What the Church is doing to help in Eastern Europe

Daniel Garcia, a buyer in the Church Purchasing Department in the Europe Area, said: “We were challenged daily to find suppliers who had inventory we could purchase and who could ship within a narrow time frame. The high cost of fuel also presented an obstacle resulting in potentially delayed deliveries and increased transport costs.”

They worked through several logistical challenges to source and transport the more than 1,000 pallets of food as they needed large quantities of food in a short amount of time. As suppliers were identified and contacted in many countries, including Germany, Spain, Poland and Romania, they also worked through language differences. 

There have been many efforts to help those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Church members across Europe, including in Germany and Poland, have been hosting refugees; collecting and making a variety of items, including for welcome packs and suture kits; and gathering shoes, clothes and food.