At the time of this writing, the number of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine have reached 2.5 million, mostly women and children. According to the UN, it's the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War Two. It's almost inconceivable that there is a war going on in our lifetime, let alone one that just entered its 3rd week.
Two days ago, we created a group fundraiser on Instagram to raise funds for World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by a chef, providing thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing home as well as those who remain in the country. Their work on the ground and their compassionate mission is something that we get behind 100%.
"We all are Citizens of the World. What's good for you, must be good for all. If you are lost, share a plate of food with a stranger...you will find who you are." - Chef José Andrés
Food is a subject dear to our hearts. Over the course of 400+ kitchen pop-ups, we've had the opportunity to work with 85+ talented and passionate chefs. Through the efforts of our kitchen manager, Chef Dee, and his nonprofit, Misfit Love Mafia, we've hosted a community table outside with free food and water for the unsheltered community. We know how much food can heal people, bring them closer together, and draw a small smile even on the coldest nights.
Some have asked us why we're going out of our way to publicly raise funds and support Ukraine when it hasn't really registered as a "hot topic" here in Atlanta or among our crowd. With so many issues of our own close to home, Ukraine seems far, far away. The war's personal impact on many of us here might just start and end with the price at the pump.
Well, one of our earliest and closest supporters is Ukrainian-American. Among others, he helped us financially when we really needed it so that the Our Bar dream can come true. He has close family in the war-torn country even now. His dad is actually in Europe at this very moment in order to find their family members and secure safe passage to the West. Sometimes, it takes a relationship or an interaction to really bring the point home and raise its importance to the level it deserves.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Even if we can't do much here halfway across the world, we believe it's still important to know what's going on, to understand the implications and to care. History is being made over there before our eyes, unfolding tragically at lightning speed. Join us in supporting the World Central Kitchen in their tremendous efforts on the ground and please spread awareness of what is happening in Ukraine.