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Ukraine bakery producing 300 charity loaves a day

Ukraine bakery producing 300 charity loaves a day

“We’re running a marathon. And the finish will be our victory.” These powerful words come from a bakery in the war-torn city of Kyiv, Ukraine, which is harnessing the power of bread to make a difference in the only way it can by producing 300 charity loaves a day as the country fights the Russian invasion.

Vladyslav Malashchenko started Good Bread from Good People in 2017 as a social enterprise to give people with disabilities a chance to work, gain skills and socialise. Then in February, 2022, all of that changed when Russia sent troops into the capital following airstrikes.

 

Bakery communications manager Alijona Martynenko told CNN that prior to the war, the business was “doing very well” selling cupcakes, cookies and pies to commercial and retail customers.

“But when the war started, we didn’t see how we could continue,” Martynenko said.

Now, the bakery has gone from not making any bread to producing up to 800 loaves every day.

“The community has been donating flour and money for us to buy what we need,” Martynenko said, adding that the production will continue until ingredients run out.

These loaves are being distributed to Ukrainian soldiers, police, hospitals, elderly people and families with children who had no choice but to stay in Kyiv.

“Hundreds and thousands of people need food. We now bake bread and cupcakes, which we distribute for free,” the bakery wrote in a Facebook post, requesting donations.

“All funds will be used to pay for the ingredients for bread and cakes, as well logistics. We also continue to financially support people with mental disabilities who have worked in the bakery, who we cannot put at risk right now. But we are still responsible for them.”

 

Baker Galina worked at Good Bread from Good People before the war, specialising in cupcakes and cake recipes.

While the bakery was closed down during the worst of the fighting, Galina baked bread at home and distributed it to neighbours. Now, she is back at the bakery, still baking bread for those in need.

While the city bears the scars of the invasion and air raid sirens are a regular sound, reports were emerging towards the end of April that following Russia’s failure to seize the capital, life was slowly returning to the streets.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko recently relaxed the city’s curfew time, but warned in a televised address that the city was still not safe, and advised displaced residents against returning.

In March, Klitschko said nearly two million people had fled the city.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine’s economy is expected to contract by 35 percent in 2022.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently stated Ukraine needs a monthly US$7b windfall to recover the country’s economy.

Mykola Povoroznyk, deputy head of Kyiv City State Administration, said that the economy of Kyiv was starting back up again “mainly in the service industry”.

While businesses were gradually resuming their work and the city was becoming somewhat safer, it was “out of the question for now” to expect the same for manufacturing industries, she said.

Michael Bociurkiw, a global affairs analyst in Lviv, told Al Jazeera that nowhere in Ukraine is free from attack.

“As long as the Russians have the capabilities to send those long-term missiles, Kyiv or Lviv, no part of Ukraine is free,” he said.

If you want to support Good Bread from Good People, you can do so via their website: https://goodbread.com.ua/ (be sure to click ‘ENG’ in the top righthand corner to get the English version).


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