Russell Bedford Cares… In Ukraine

March 2022

In response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and as a gesture of solidarity with Russell Bedford RCG, a network member firm based in Kiev, Russell Bedford International has made an initial donation of £10,000 to World Central Kitchen (WCK), with board directors and individual member firms making further donations. The final total will be reported as part of the network's corporate social responsibility campaigns. A not-for-profit organisation currently operating on the frontline, WCK is serving thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing their homes and those who remain in the country.

In support of refugees escaping the violence, WCK began serving hot, nourishing meals in Poland and now have operations at eight border crossings, as well in Przemyśl—a city receiving refugee families.

On 2 March 2022, working with the World Food Programme, José Andrés (Founder of WCK) crossed into Krakovets to deliver food on the Ukrainian side of the border. WCK is now looking into the possibility of delivering meals each day to families in Ukraine who are waiting in line to cross the border across the eight entry points.

While WCK’s Relief Team continues to explore the safest and best way to provide meals beyond the entry points in Ukraine, they are currently providing remote support to restaurants inside the country, cooking meals for anyone in need. Currently, WCK meals are being distributed in five Ukrainian cities, including in Lviv.

In addition to this donation, the network is encouraging Russell Bedford members around the globe, who may feel helpless as they look on from afar at such devastating human suffering, to support organisations such as WCK and others, who are doing their utmost to provide comfort and support to those in desperate need at this difficult time.

Russell Bedford chair, Bruce Saward said: “It has been heart-breaking to watch the unfolding devastating events in Ukraine over the past week. My thoughts are with our colleagues at Russell Bedford RCG in Kiev and with all Ukrainians, including those who have made Ukraine their home, and whose lives have now been turned upside-down. None of us have any real insight into how this crisis will unfold. However, we hope and pray for a prompt cessation of hostilities and a return to peace. In the meantime, the network’s donation to WCK is a small way in which we can assist in practical terms.”

Russell Bedford CEO, Stephen Hamlet added: “Speaking with our Kiev member firm, it is difficult to hear first-hand the extent of the situation in Ukraine at this time. We as a network are committed to supporting worthy causes, as part of our corporate social responsibility program, and it is a privilege to offer our donation to WCK, who are offering essential, lifesaving support to those in need at this time. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our colleagues in Kiev and to all affected by the devastating situation in Ukraine.”

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