To all the thousands of you who have cared for our orphans over the past year, we want to thank you. You played a significant role in saving lives and bringing as much dignity as we could to so many of the orphans in Ukraine.

The early days of the war were a scramble to find resources and resist the panic that ensued. We took the time to create food supply chains in occupied territories, made living in bomb shelters more tolerable, and stabilized resources and supplies local to each orphanage.
For the rest of this email, we wanted to share with you the work we do to keep our children fed. Know that you are part of this critical work.

Challenges In Menu Planning and Purchasing for Orphanages

We want to give you, our donors, an idea of how we plan the menu for orphans and how we buy things to ensure that this facility will be covered for the month.
It is a complicated process and needs specific skills, such as experience in feeding big groups of children, foresight into rationing, plus a lot of creativity and long-term planning. This process is very different from planning meals in a regular family. Food like steaks, pizza, lasagna, sandwiches, cake, pasta, and salads, which we may be accustomed to, is very expensive and not practical for children’s facilities.
We must plan on cooking food that may be more difficult, but, at the same time, feed more children, feed them longer, and, of course, consider their health and nutrition. Buying vegetables, like onions, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, bell pepper, cabbage, and zucchini, allows for cooking different soups, stews, and salads. Those vegetables can be stored in the facility. Buying flour and sugar helps to make bread, pancakes, and vareniki, the Ukrainian national food.
For fruits, we typically chose apples for the same reasons we mentioned above; longer shelf life. Macaroni, cereals, corn, buckwheat, and oatmeal are ideal staples for children’s diets. Oil and tomato paste are the only sauces we must add.
Thinking in advance and being pragmatic means a lot in this situation. We aim to provide children with three meals a day with the best nutritional value. We cannot offer them sweets, cookies, delicacies, and other things, which are normal for any family abroad, but with your help, we will be able to have special occasions and celebrations to keep moods upbeat and smiles on children’s faces.