The news this week that the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine has fallen after two months of fighting is heartbreaking. The city had been under constant siege. A few brave soldiers were holding on, but the city has now gone over to Russian control.
Our contacts inside Ukraine are deeply concerned about what may transpire in the coming days. We hope and pray that Odessa will stand. Reports indicate that soldiers there are digging in their defenses. The reality is, Ukraine is still gripped by this horrible war.
Mercy Chefs and our partners continue to deliver vitally needed food and resources into the heart of Ukraine. As of yesterday, we had delivered more than 2.3 million pounds of food and supplies. As one might expect with such a deployment, our team continues to face many challenges as we move food from our warehouse on the Romanian border into the middle of a war zone. Recently, our trucks have encountered extremely long delays at the border, so we are switching to vans which can get quicker access in and out. But that means the costs are going up and we need more drivers and vans so we can keep this lifeline open.
With Mariupol falling, it is critical that we stand firm in our commitment to help Ukrainians who are continuing to stand in the midst of increasingly impossible circumstances. But to do so, I need YOUR HELP!
Will you join with me this week to provide food and supplies for those in Ukraine who are on the front lines of this terribly destructive war? Go here to help feed families inside Ukraine while we continue other efforts:
Mercy Chefs is now more than 10 weeks into a deployment that, of course, was not even on our radar before this war started. We had nothing in our budget for an overseas deployment, certainly not one of this scope. Thankfully, many friends like you have been faithful and generous to partner with Mercy Chefs to make it possible for us to deliver over 2 million pounds of food and supplies into Ukraine!
But I can't shrink back now. With the terrible news out of Mariupol, we must keep sending a message of hope in the form of food and supplies. We must keep delivering vitally needed resources to the villages and orphanages that are relying on us.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Mercy Chefs continues to be on the front lines of providing relief to wildfire victims and workers in New Mexico. We can still use your help with wildfire relief as well. Go here: