A few weeks ago I wrote about the power of food, and the role Lasagna Love plays in delivering comfort during times of chaos. I highlighted some true heroes working on the ground in and around Ukraine, delivering food to refugees, soldiers, and those still in Ukraine who now face unprecedented food insecurity. Today I would like to introduce you to one particular hero on the ground in Ukraine who I’ve had the honor of connecting with in the last few weeks.
Meet Maksim. He has the heart and soul of a lasagna chef.
“My everyday business was a daily renting of apartments. Now I am staying in Ukraine and try to help my citizens. Many people are still staying in the city, many of them cannot leave due to illness, it’s difficult for them to move.”
Maksim was born and has lived his entire life in Kharkov, Ukraine. When the war broke out he didn’t flee to safety; instead, he stayed to help his community. As with many parts of Ukraine, the supply chain has been severely disrupted in Kharkov which means many people don’t have basic necessities like food or diapers or medicine. Maksim has figured out how to order food and medical supplies from western Ukraine and get them delivered by truck to Kharkov. He then packs up grocery bags of food and delivers them to people in the community. When he delivers, he says, some people haven’t eaten in 2 or 3 days. Some days he can only go out to make deliveries in the morning and then has to return home or hide in a basement to avoid being injured or killed by the explosions.
“Many people are scared, many people don’t want to leave because it’s their home. That’s why we try to help them.”
Kharkov is one of the cities still being bombed every day. Just yesterday a World Central Kitchen location was hit, and four staff were injured. Maksim sends me daily updates on the buildings that were destroyed and the number of civilian casualties. But Maksim doesn’t stop: he perseveres with a hope and dedication to his community that is both humbling and inspiring.
To support Maksim, you can make a donation here. 100% of your donation goes directly to purchase groceries that are delivered to families and individuals facing food insecurity as a result of the war. To stay up to date on Maksim’s deliveries in Kharkov, follow us on Instagram or Facebook. If you know of someone on the ground in Ukraine helping to feed neighbors, please email us.
Update on 5/19/2022