As we are now well into the second year since the war first broke out in Ukraine, foodservice provider Bidfood has set an ambitious target as it continues to partner with Hope4 and supply valuable food and drink aid for those affected by the ongoing conflict.
Originally uniting when the war first began, food packages were sent to Moldova, which became a place of refuge for many fleeing the conflict. Now on their seventh load of support, Bidfood has donated approximately £400,000 worth of products, and are now not only providing their own stock, but working with and encouraging suppliers, customers and even competitors’ to fund and donate as well.
So far the seven support loads have provided around 73,000 meals for those in need, and Bidfood is determined to increase this to provide £1,000,000 worth of food equivalence support, working out at around 200,000 meals, in addition to the multi-million meals that Bidfood has donated to UK charities.
This not only supports Bidfood’s ESG goals both internally and externally but also assists in clearing stocks. The work makes a real difference to some of the poorest people in Europe, many of whom have had to flee their homes because of war; and is a cause that Bidfood Senior Leadership Team passionately believe in.
The food dispatched has consisted of mostly ambient products with items such as canned veg, canned and jarred meat, pasta, biscuits and snack products, as well as canned drinks and bottles of drinking water. These donations have been distributed to Ukrainian refugees, those in desperate poverty in Moldova and people remaining in war torn areas of Ukraine who are unable to escape the conflict.
Bidfood’s Supply Chain and Technical Services Director, Jim Gouldie, recently visited parts of Ukraine, which had been recaptured, from Russian occupation to see the impact the support Bidfood and Hope4 is having on those affected. He commented:
“This has to be hands down the most humbling experience for me. To be able to join forces with Hope4 who are doing such incredible work to support the people of Ukraine affected by this ongoing conflict is just amazing to see.
“It was fantastic to see first-hand how we were also having a positive impact, offering support at such a difficult time, but it’s crucial that this support continues and doesn’t dwindle as unfortunately the humanitarian needs are rarely shown on our TV screens any more.
“Now I’m home, it’s more important than ever for me to raise awareness of the situation and share how others can get involved. Our goal as a business is to provide £1,000,000 of food and drink support, but how powerful could our level of support be if the wider industry were able to play a part too.”
Bidfood and Hope4 have also worked together to support those affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, supplying similar food packages as well as sleeping bags, blankets and old freezer suits to keep those without a home warm at night.
Speaking about the partnership, Chris Lomas, CEO of Hope4 said: “At a time of desperate need to support starving families and Ukrainian refugees fleeing the devastation in their homeland, Bidfood has stood up to the challenge of supporting those who have nothing and have continued to do so, even when this devastation is no longer making daily news.
“We at Hope4 are humbled by the incredible support we get from Bidfood; but sadly we recognise these challenges are getting worse not better. We invite all from across the industry whether you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or foodservice operators to join with Bidfood, and us all to help support one of the largest humanitarian crises Europe has ever seen”.
Follow the link below to listen to Jim Gouldie talk through his work with Hope4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXEccMfcjzI
If you have any questions on what you can do to support Hope4, or would like to partner with us for sending food out to Moldova and Ukraine, please feel free to contact Jim directly: email@example.com