How to Support Ukraine Through Food Charities, Events, and Fundraisers
Help Ukraine by eating borscht, tuning into chef livestreams, and making ongoing donations.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to unfold, countries around the world have come up with creative ways to offer support. In the United States, food and drink communities across the nation are hosting fundraising dinners, organizing special pop-ups, and donating proceeds to humanitarian charities. From Ukrainian pastries to specialty IPAs, here are all the ways you can get involved.
“Chefs for Unity” Ukrainian Relief Livestream Benefit
Chef Dominique Crenn has organized this global benefit, taking place on May 11 at 12 pm PST on Buzzfeed Tasty’s YouTube and Facebook pages, to raise funds for World Central Kitchen. Chef Crenn, along with celebrity Chef Ming Tsai, will join forces with Chef José André and dozens of the world’s best chefs to inspire a moment of unity in a worldwide breaking of bread. To participate, visit the My World Chef website to order Chef Dominique Crenn’s exclusive Unity Bread kit by making a $100 donation to WCK.
Ongoing Organizational Efforts
World Central Kitchen
This nonprofit organization, founded by chef José Andrés, works to provide food in the wake of humanitarian, climate, and community crises. Andrés has been on the ground in Ukraine and Romania with WCK to feed refugees. So far, one million meals have been served to families across Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary. Donate to support their efforts here.
Cook for Ukraine
Founded by a group of friends—Ukrainian chef and food writer Olia Hercules, Russian cookbook author Dr. Alissa Timoskina, and Polish cookbook author Zuza Zak—the #CookForUkraine movement aims to increase awareness of the crisis in Ukraine as well as raise funds for UNICEF UK’s Ukraine appeal. You can join the movement by hosting your own #CookForUkraine supper club or bake sale, donating directly to this Just Giving page, or simply sharing your recipes on social media with the #CookForUkraine hashtag.
Hamantashen for Ukraine
This movement, which began as a celebration of Purim, called on bakers to sell hamantaschen at their cafes, donating proceeds directly to the Polish Humanitarian Action. Even though the holiday is over, bakers are encouraged to continue Jewish food-related fundraisers. You can find a list of participating bakeries here, but if you happen to be a baker yourself, you can join in on this show of solidarity by selling to friends and family.
Bake For Ukraine
In 2020, Paola Velez, Willa Pelini, and Robert Rudda founded Bakers Against Racism, an international bake sale that has raised over $2.5 million for social justice causes worldwide. In response to the events in Ukraine, the organization launched an Emergency Bake Sale, calling on bakers to fundraise for those who are providing food, shelter, transportation, and medical services in Ukraine. The movement is ongoing, and you can launch your sale with the hashtags #bakersagainstracism and #bakeforukraine.
Businesses Donating Proceeds
From March 17 through May 17, the Polish family-owned potato vodka brand will be donating 100% of profits from sales of Chopin products (Chopin Potato, Chopin Wheat, Chopin Rye, and Chopin Family Reserve) made through its website to World Central Kitchen. The Dorda family is working directly with Ukrainian refugees in Poland, arranging housing in Warsaw for several families and offering jobs at the Chopin factory. “The Chopin distillery is about 70 miles from the Russian border so this hits very close to home and feels as if Eastern Europe’s painful history is repeating itself,” says Chopin CEO and founder Tad Dorda. “It’s our responsibility to use the resources we have to help those in need."
Various locations in Massachusetts & Maine
The east coast cannabis brand has been running a limited edition line of THC chews with 50% of profits going directly to Sunflower of Peace, a Boston-based nonprofit organization committed to providing medical supplies including first-aid backpacks, medicine, medical instruments, and other means of survival to the Ukrainian people. The chews come in custom boxes featuring the colors of the Ukraine flag and are available at Massachusetts and Maine locations.
Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries Donating Proceeds
New York, New York
The legendary Ukrainian eatery is donating 100% of proceeds from its borscht sales to Razom for Ukraine, a NYC-based nonprofit organization supporting the people of Ukraine in its pursuit of a democratic society with dignity, justice, and human and civil rights. The restaurant is also accepting non-monetary donations at its East 9th Street entrance, including everything from first-aid kits to sleeping bags.
Oh My Cake
San Diego, California
Daria Tarnavska, a 22-year-old Ukrainian pastry chef, opened up Oh My Cake in San Diego just this year and currently 25% of her profits are being donated to the National Bank of Ukraine. So far, the small bakery has been able to raise $15,000 in donations. Be sure to check out her blue-and-yellow-glazed Strawberry Kiss pastry, which contains vanilla bean sponge, strawberry confit, vanilla bean crèmeux and strawberry mousse.
Urban South Brewery
Houston, Texas & New Orleans, Louisiana
Urban South Brewery has launched a new beer, the Double Spilled: Slava Ukraini, to raise funds for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. This tropical beer will be available at Urban South’s New Orleans and Houston taprooms, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee.
Rogue Ales and Spirits
The current crisis in Ukraine hits close to home for Rogue president, Dharma Tamm, whose family was displaced when Russia invaded Estonia for the second time in 1944. The brewery has released a special Northwest IPA, the F**K Putin, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Global Giving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. F*#K Putin beer and merch can be purchased online, now available for nationwide shipping.