It’s been overwhelming watching the heartbreaking news coming out of Ukraine and desperately wanting to help. When I get overwhelmed and feel helpless, I often retreat into my kitchen because cooking and baking are things I do have a little control over.
So when I discovered the #CookforUkraine movement, it was a perfect solution to combine my desire to help with my instinct to head to the kitchen.
#CookForUkraine started off as an idea between three inspirational chefs: Olia Hercules, Alissa Timoshkina, and Zuza Zak, alongside social media star Clerkenwell Boy. Driven by a mutual love of food and a desire to help those in need, they started #CookForUkraine to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis the world faces right now, as well as raise the funds needed to aid children & families in Ukraine who have been displaced by the current situation.
The movement has already raised over $88,000 and counting for UNICEF UK’s Ukraine Appeal, which will support both children and families impacted by the war.
This initiative is not just for top chefs, award-winning food writers, or restaurant owners (although many of them are joining in). Home cooks like me and you can get involved by cooking, baking, and sharing Ukrainian and Eastern European-inspired dishes across social media with their family and followers. #CookForUkraine also provides a platform for Ukrainian families and their supporters to share recipes with each other, along with the stories behind those dishes.
4 ways to support #CookforUkraine
1. Host a bake sale or supper club
Join the movement by hosting your own pop-up, bake sale, or supper club and share some home-cooked food with friends, while raising funds for UNICEF. Simply invite your friends and suggest a donation to this JustGiving page. Then, consider sharing your pictures, recipes, and stories on social media by adding the #CookForUkraine hashtag to connect with the community!
You could also auction off your baked goods and donate all proceeds through the JustGiving page. All proceeds will be directed to UNICEF UK’s Ukraine appeal, supporting children and families. If you need inspiration on dishes to cook, you can discover a whole host of Ukrainian and Eastern European recipes, such as Olia Hercules’ apple cake at the #CookForUkraine JustGiving page.
2. Dine out at participating restaurants
Hundreds of restaurants, hotels, cafés, and bars are now involved in the campaign, and you can see a full list of participating restaurants here. While many of these are still outside of the U.S., you can encourage your local eateries to get involved by sharing the #CookForUkraine hashtag on your social media accounts to spread the word.
If you’re the owner of a restaurant or café, you can also get involved by adding a donation to the bill throughout the month of March 2022. You can find more details here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details to get set up.
Donations can be made through the JustGiving page, with proceeds being sent directly to UNICEF UK’s Ukraine appeal, supporting displaced children and families.
4. Share your voice and your support on social media
Social media is still a powerful tool that can be used for good. Use your platforms to share information around the #CookForUkraine campaign. Post pictures from your bake sales or supper clubs, or tag participating restaurants into your posts when you dine with them.