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Food for refugees campaign

Updated: May 15, 2023



hello again, it's been a few days, so we're sending some more thanks for your sustained support - this time from a family from Smila town, in the Cherkasy region...

ukrainian mother and three children receive aid

and this family, receivng medical supplies, who may soon be evacuating to Poland.

ukrainian family, man in wheelchair, receive supplies

and of course, we're passing on thanks from many more people, of whom we don't have photos. The news cycle may move on, but the needs remain, and become more acute as the situation grinds on. We're getting some medicines together in Poland right now, for delivery to Vitalii and the whole volunteer network. Here they are, setting off again, as they do every day, often forgetting to eat and to sleep. The Paypal link is here.

ukrainian volunteer and doctor sitting in car, medicine



Hello again - with big thank you from a doctor who received supplies from us!

ukrainian doctor gives thumbs up, receiving medicines

Also, remember those nappies, baby milk and baby food pictured in the back of the car in Poland on Wednesday? Here they are again starring in a short video made to thank Vitalii by a volunteer in Kryviyi Rih who is working to distribute donations:

here is a kid with health problems getting a delivery

ukrainian child with supplies

and your money also paid for the evacuation of the family below - who just two weeks ago were determined to stay in their home but finally decided the situation was just too dangerous for the children. Vitalii and some other volunteers sorted out the paperwork, travel, and worked out a final destination. They also threw a modest little farewell party for them to sweeten the awful occasion a bit.

ukrainian families evacuating, ukrainian flag, balloons

However relentless the destruction, the desire to come together and help is uncrushable.

Let's keep going every day - Paypal link is here


Your money keeps flowing straight to those who need it, without a penny wasted. Yesterday this man was one of several elderly people in Kryviyi Rih who were supplied with medicines and money for food. He has a tube in his abdomen.

elderly ukrainian man with box of medicines

Meanwhile friends of Vitalii's in Vilnius, Lithuania, collected money to buy a truck and we helped to fill it with humanitarian aid as they drove through Poland to Lviv. The plan was quite spontaneous and we had to move fast, creating a network of people between Scotland, Poland and Ukraine who did not previously know each other, working out different kinds of specialist baby milk and bandages through google translate, while on the way to drop the kids off at school (or into shelters as the sirens went off), attempting to get hold of prescription meds and meeting each other on motorways. Bless you, Bozena! Below is a photo of her car unexpectedly filled to the brim with baby milk and nappies for children and adults, all paid for by your generosity. Let's keep going, every little helps, the Paypal link is here

car full of nappies, aid for ukraine


This family, among others, have been helped to evacuate to a safer place in Western Ukraine, thanks to your contributions.

ukrainian mother, girl and boy, evacuating

And here are some medical supplies, taken to a hospital yesterday. It seems crazy to be delivering medications to a hospital rather than the other way round, but that is where we find ourselves now.

ukrainian volunteer and doctors, medicines

What to say but thank you, your support is really appreciated


More shopping has arrived, thanks to you. Vitalii delivered much needed medications to three elderly people yesterday, and money for food. the mum and kids below have some food and nappies to keep them going (as do many others, not pictured!). Meanwhile Russian tanks are approaching the town and it is hard to sleep.

young ukrainian mother smiling, two young children, nappies and supplies

On the Polish side, as the border situation has eased in the spot where he was before, Maciek is searching out the most useful place to deliver his soup, and will keep you posted.

Thank you once more for your continuing support as this hellish situation grinds on.



Hello, Sarah here, thanking you most kindly once again for keeping up this incredible flow of support. Vitalii is still hard at work getting help to people who need it, often at risk to himself. He was caught out the other night, if I am not mistaken coming back from giving supplies to the family below, a mother, five children and a grandmother. Lots of different foods and some sweets for the kids. The public transport stopped and he had to walk home for 30 minutes in the dark with the sirens blaring. I've never been so glad to get a message that somebody is home.

ukrainian grandmother, mother, five children, volunteer brings supplies

Yesterday he brought supplies to this family, young Stanislaus is 3 months old. On Saturday he brought food to a mother with an eight month old, using his friend's car.

young ukrainian couple and baby, volunteer brings food and nappies

and below, sugar, rice and potatoes for 200 people evacuated from Mariupol, a city which has pretty much become hell on earth.

ukrainian volunteers, supplies in the car for mariupol

Let's keep on keeping on.



ukrainian grandfather, mother, child and baby in cellar

Hello, this is Sarah, thanking you for the seemingly unstoppable flow of goodwill and donations which are coming in around the clock.

This is a photo I received from Vitalii, who got it from his friend in Kyiv, who helped these people out with some of your money. His mother made it safely across the border yesterday. Another grandmother was not so lucky and ended up in a different bus to her family, with no documents or phone. I continue, somewhat surreally, to get telegram alerts when the planes come over his town, and I was just urged to evacuate from south to north as ground forces approach.

four small ukrainian children, nappies

Maciek here, situation at the border is slowly unclogging. People arrive in smaller groups and there is not much waiting time. Someone said that this because they are held in Lviv as the Ukrainian side is getting more organized and synchronized with the border situation. That would be welcome news as it got much colder the past couple of days.

The soup is still in demand and production rarely stops. This weekend I will attend to my studies in Rzeszów and since I cook for them as well I will be busy from tomorrow till Monday.

Next week I will decide where to put our efforts to. I will check the border first but I can already sense that the crisis is moving from the borders to inside the country as people sleep in train stations and are often left to fend for themselves.

Let's carry on doing what we can.

Ukrainian refugees at the border in Poland



Sarah here, with an update. Maciek is gearing up for a return to the border tonight, with 2 lots of good soup, and on his way he's dropping off some of your money to a 10-12 person Ukrainian family now living nearby, while talking to Vitalii's brother who lives in Poland and is on his way to collect their mother as she escapes to the border.

In the meantime, here is Vitalii helping a mother and daughter to evacuate to Western Ukraine, which is much safer. He writes, 'Planes flew right over my head yesterday when I was looking for shelter on the street after the alarm. It was very, very scary! At that moment, I prayed to see my family just one more time. Also, I was told that ballistic missiles flew over the city, over residential areas'.

I am also donating on your behalf to a family friend in Przemysl who is bravely transporting medical supplies to Kyiv where they are very much needed.

Thank you, thank you. Let's keep it up. If you can give money, here's how.

For people from Poland or with Polish bank account:

Maciej Owczarek


with reference za żywność

For people from the UK or with UK bank account:

Maciej Owczarek

Halifax plc



with reference: food for ukraine



Another night at the border.

This time I got to go beyond the gate and experience this drama first hand. I didn't even attempt to go to the end of this queue but I can tell you it stretches for way too long. Thousands of people are there standing in sub zero temps for hours. It goes so slow that the end of the queue from this movie is not gonna go in for another 24h.

An oil tanker of soup would not be enough to feed them and I can only bring 60 ltr at a time so yeah, a feeling of hopelessness prevails.

Every hour or so a fraction of the people are let in through the gates but they still have a long way to go and it is not gonna be for another few hours that they get through to the Polish side

It took me 6h to make that drop and come back, half of the time being stuck at the border both on my way in and out. And I could only come back that quick cause I know Roman. Who's Roman? He is a volunteering demon that keeps everything together over there and transcends space, time and obviously borders as well. He knows everyone and everyone knows him.

The guy has such a power that he can direct a humanitarian convoy upstream of traffic through Ukrainian and Polish customs convincing everyone in his path that this is the best way to do it.

My worst nightmare now is that one day I am gonna go there and Roman is gonna have a day off or smth and I am gonna be stranded there in the purgatory between countries until he comes back. I don't have any pictures of him cause he transcends pix frame as well, so his picture is priced higher than that of a superman. Below, other unnamed heroes.

Here's the easy link to donate, Paypal here.

Thank you for your generosity



Hello, it's Sarah here. Maciek got back from the border at 5am. He was serving people on the Ukrainian side, where the river of people is ever-growing, and he'll update you when he's had some rest, unless the charity require more soup tonight, in which case he'll be busy cooking.

I've been talking with Vitalii, and between the technical and linguistic hitches and glitches, it comes through loud and clear that he is constantly at work helping in Kryvyi Rih and further afield, sending money to the Lugansk region, Kherson, Chernigov and Kyiv, and to people he trusts who are also engaged in helping networks.

It's time, today, for people in Kryvyi Rih to evacuate from the south into the north, as the air raid sirens get more frequent. His wife and child may soon be attempting the trip to Europe.

Yesterday a large delivery of food, medicine and nappies was made to a children's home, home to 65 children between the ages of 4 months and 5 years, all of them without parents, and some with serious health conditions. The medicine is running out. You contributed to this car load -

and here they are unloading it

What to say? These are not the kind of shopping texts I'd like to be receiving, but here they are, so you can see a little of what your money has bought.

Thank you so much. If you want to contribute further, Paypal here.

Sending love.

baby food, humanitarian aid for ukraine



Am gonna be brief as I am pressed for time cooking another lot of soup and going to the border crossing in Korczowa again tonight.

I went there the other night as well delivering 60 ltr of soup and other supplies to Fundacja Polania working relentlessly around the clock.

it was well past midnight when I got through polish and ukrainian border checks and don't really have many spectacular pictures as it was dark, too much nudging and too many machine guns. Customs officers are not happy with filming or taking pictures so I got what I got and am happy not to have my phone confiscated.

korczowa border, ukrainian refugees

Women and children are given priority and let through first while single men are gathered in groups and processed separately.

korczowa border crossing, ukrainian refugees

Behind this gate (below) there is a camp of thousands waiting to be let in and that's where the soup is going. Last few nights got really cold and I can only imagine how terrible experience this must be being stranded there for few days.

we are still going strong and directing your funds towards buying food and other necessities with me cooking like crazy and Vitalii shopping and working in Ukraine.

we will keep going as long as the funds are there.

thank you for your generosity.



For people from Poland or with Polish bank account:

Maciej Owczarek


with reference za żywność

For people from the UK or with UK bank account:

Maciej Owczarek

Halifax plc



with reference: food for ukraine



hello, it's sarah here, writing with an update on where your donations are going. maciek made it across the ukrainian border yesterday with fundacja polania, and will be updating you on that tomorrow.

there's only so much soup that can be made, though, so we've decided to diversify the humanitarian aid, sticking to people we know and organic channels. first i made a one-off donation from terrealuma to an old friend of mine in poland - never one to do things by halves - who has taken in a 14 person family! her fundraiser is here. there's the family below

fourteen person ukrainian family, refugees

and i have been sending some of our terrealuma funds on a regular basis to vitalii platoshyn, a friend of a family.

vitalii is an official volunteer with the red cross and works with other humanitarian operations in ukraine - he's pictured below with a lady who works for the police and yesterday was distributing supplies for orphaned children. he lives in the city kryvyi rih - as of last night the russian forces were 150-100 km away, and people there were being evacuated from the south to the north of the city.

i can get money to vitalii instantly via a payment app, and he spends it on food, medicine, nappies for children and incontinence pads for the elderly. he will continue for as long as funds, supply, and logistics allow. yesterday he bought antibiotics in the pharmacy, today there are none left. when the air raid sirens are on - everything stops.

ukrainian volunteers with humanitarian aid

here is how you can support maciek's feeding refugees at the border, vitalii's tireless work for basic human needs in ukraine, and any other humanitarian needs that may arise during this senseless crisis for people who we know personally and trust.

For people from Poland or with Polish bank account:

Maciej Owczarek


with reference za żywność

For people from the UK or with UK bank account:

Maciej Owczarek

Halifax plc



with reference: food for ukraine

many many thanks for your generosity, stay safe and keep your spirits up,




I did well in Przemyśl last night. Apart from another 60 ltr of soup distributed. I managed to connect with a polish charity Fundacja Polania working on ukrainian side of border crossing in Korczowa. They are in need of supplies and equipment so that's where am gonna direct my efforts and your money right now.

I believe this is a Top of the Pops gig in this situation and next one up would be actually going deep in Ukraine with deliveries which am also open to do.

So before I go into details from last night I AM CALLING OUT FOR MORE FUNDING!

and since this is time sensitive matter, it is gonna make a difference where you gonna send it. The Polish bank account I have access to pretty much straight away, Paypal used to take a while but now we've discovered an app which gets money through instantly.

So here are our 3 ways of funding in order of preference for this moment:

Polish bank account Maciej Owczarek 81910610183004100153750001 with reference za żywność Or donate through Paypal here

and if you have a UK bank account -

Halifax plc Maciej Owczarek 11-01-92 00497207 with reference: food for ukraine

Now, the details.

First, I went to refugee camp in outskirts of Przemyśl where people walk to from the border themselves or get there in cars.

I left 30 ltr of soup with these volunteers (below) after making it boiling hot with my propane rig.

During that process some guys from Kalisz approached me with a request to heat their soup up as they were going across the border with supplies to Fundacja Polania, so that's how I got this connection (below).

Making it across the border is tricky. Just to get to the border crossing through police blockade might be undoable depending on the moods at the time, I heard.

Nonetheless, looks like am gonna be using my still virgin passport after all and gonna attempt this tonight.

I am currently in touch both with the head of the charity and people on the ground receiving requests and list of things to acquire for today. Gonna make more soup as well and bring all of it to them across the border as it became more and more apparent that Przemyśl is pretty much souped out and there is an oversaturation of all kinds of foods. Across the border the story is completely different and anything delivered there has it's value in gold at this stage.

After all that, I went back to good old train station in Przemyśl and set myself up with the other 30ltr of soup. It's been after 2am that I called it quits and went back home. It was a productive trip mainly because of the charity connection making our efforts ever more meaningful.

Thanks for your support.




I spent Sunday (27th February) at the station in Przemyśl serving food to around 130 people over 6h. It is slow going there as it takes forever for people to be processed through customs. Since this took longer then expected I decided to have good night's sleep and start all over again on Monday and then travel to Przemyśl on Tuesday morning.

terrealuma give soup to ukrainian refugees

terrealuma give soup to ukrainian refugees

The atmosphere over there is very relaxed and everyone is being super helpful, the usual rules don't apply so I was able to bring my mobile propane cooking rig to keep the soup hot.

soup for ukrainian refugees, przemysl station

Over night cooking was fun but hard work 'coz of sheer amount of produce to be processed resulting in me having knife blisters from too much chopping, after 2h of sleep with the soup still being hot I loaded the truck and went off to Przemyśl. It was a lot of heavy lifting and work in general coupled with lack of sleep and it took a toll on me so I came back on Sunday afternoon completely wrecked.

soup for ukrainian refugees

food prep at terrealuma healing refuge for ukrainian refugees

In conclusion, there is a lot of help available where I have been and no one is kept hungry. The bottle neck being the customs and trains are being kept in a cue on the Ukrainian side for hours waiting for a green light from polish authorities but I guess there is nothing we can do about that.

I think the situation is more dire at the car and pedestrian border crossings and I would like to go there also. The word is however, that the police are not letting anyone through as people were clogging the roads in spontaneous effort to help.

In the same time, I am thinking that with enourmous response from all of you and with the amount of money that we gathered it will be impossible for me to process it by myself with this kind of initiative.

I would be wise to join some organized effort with this funding and help physically as well so am gonna be looking out for that.

ukrainian refugees, Przemysl station

ukrainian refugees, Przemysl station


shopping for food for ukrainian refugees



hello, first of all, thanks for your overwhelming participation and many donations, you know who you are and thanks to your money I could afford sizeable shopping today. I bought, 20+ kg of pork meat 4 kg of lard 10 kg of onions 20 kg of cabbage 20 loafs of bread 20 kg of potatoes 500 sets of recyclable soup bowls diesel for the truck propane for cooking butter, spices, garlic etc. I spent roughly 200 quid or over 1000 PLN. This shopping should be enough for today and tomorrow or for two lots of cooking or 200 people fed. There is still more money left in the bank for more shopping next week but you are welcome to participate if you haven't already and all the bank and wiring details are at the bottom. I have done all my travelling, shopping and resting and am already in trance chopping and dicing everything in sight. The cooking will take well past midnight and then I will decide the course of action meaning that either I will go straight away or get some rest and wait for the morning. The plan is to go to Przemyśl and first check the situation at the train station or another possible location to go to is the border crossing at the town of Hrebenne. Till next update, Maciek

ukrainian refugees sleeping in Przemysl station

terrealuma is only 40 km from ukraine and war. Przemysl is our county city and lies right next to the border. it is a major rail hub and trains from ukraine arrive every few hours filling the city with refugees. many of them have friends or families here in Poland and gonna be ok but lots will be left without proper means or assistance. mind you, we are on day 2 and the drama will increase with every passing day and i don't think russians will stop until they get to our border. i am gonna cook some food tomorrow and go to Przemysl on Sunday to serve it and assess the situation regardless of the result of this plea. being real and on my own I could provide up to 100 meals every other day, with rest of the time shopping and cooking. this will however depend on the scope of your support as i have no means of funding an ongoing operation. I will update as I go along. Here is how you can support this effort financially: For people from Poland or with polish bank account: Maciej Owczarek 81910610183004100153750001 with reference za żywność For people from the UK or with UK bank account: Halifax plc Maciej Owczarek 11-01-92 00497207 with reference: food for ukraine For everyone else please donate through Paypal here If this effort takes off I will also need some help on the ground so if you are free and willing contact me directly and for any other inquiries: Stay safe, Maciek

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