АвторAuthor: Iryna Semenova | Translation: Diana Bevtsyk
30 July 2022
The Cherkasy brand “Food Hacker” is 7 years old. The business started with the desire of the founder to feed people deliciously and healthily. During this time, the company organized hundreds of catering events and opened its own cafe. They also created rations for thousands of Cherkasy residents, some of whom lost a lot of extra weight and health problems. With the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia on the territory of Ukraine, the company switched to almost 100 percent volunteerism. The company’s chefs have transferred love and care through food more than 16,000 times in 4 months. All about this and even more was told exclusively by Olena Semenikhina to “Monologues of the War”.
«For the first month, we fed our Territorial Defense soldiers and settlers from the supplies we had, — says the founder of the brand, Olena Semenikhina. — On March 1, just in time for the company’s birthday, I planned to move to a new location. New office and new big modern kitchen. Part of the collected funds for all this I paid to chefs (they were ready to work for free, but I understood that it was necessary to pay at least half the rate to support people). And also money was spent for a hundred charity lunches, which we prepared and delivered every day.»
We started with dishes that were part of our menu: vegetable soups, salads, porridge, steamed meatballs, pastries without sugar and gluten. Then we switched to dumplings and borscht. Several times our clients, friends, even my former colleagues from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine helped us with funds. Later the international humanitarian organization “World Central Kitchen” turned to us with an offer to support.
Now we have the opportunity to feed 200 people. These are volunteers, elderly people, large families and as well as those who lost everything and found a new home in Cherkasy. We deliver food to yards, shelters and hospitals. Both myself and my team are ready to work while we can.
During our joint resistance to Russian aggression, the «FoodHacker» team gained new like-minded people and partners.During our joint resistance to Russian aggression, the FoodHacker team gained new associates and partners.
So FTC Functional Training Club Черкассы, a well-known functional training club in Cherkasy offered to hold joint charity training in the fresh air. Professional coaches shared their experience and knowledge with Cherkasy residents. In return, participants made charitable contributions to the «FoodHacker» account.
In total, we managed to collect four thousand hryvnias. Our team bought fruit for this money and delivered it to the Cherkasy Regional Hospital, where our defenders are being treated.
We buy fruit every other day with the part of the funds we earn by preparing lunches for commercial clients. We buy in such a way that the fruits are always fresh for our defenders. And today another batch of vitamins was sent to the hospital. Indifferent people join FoodHacker’s initiatives all the time.
Entrepreneur Alla Volkivska, who deals in fruits and vegetables, offered us help . She did it when learned that our team provides fresh fruit to wounded soldiers being treated in Cherkasy hospitals. Apples, bananas, oranges, pomegranate juice from Alla Petrivna. All this is constantly on the table for our defenders.
The company’s employees not only go on «volunteer» duty, for which they do not receive a salary, but also constantly invent various actions to help the defenders of Ukraine. On the eve of Easter, the whole team worked overtime to collect 10 thousand hryvnias for plates that are needed for bulletproof vests.
We transferred all this money to our Cherkasy volunteers. And this means that five of our fighters from the Cherkasy Territorial Defense will be protected at the right moment. These bulletproof vests will even save someone’s life. And all of us will be involved in this. Such realizations are extremely inspiring.
Unfortunately, Russia’s war against Ukraine did not allow our team to work in full force. Of the thirteen, nine of us remained, because some people went to serve in the Armed Forces and Territorial Defense .
But despite this fact, we are sure that with the support of donors and our customers, we will be able to continue to feed those who bring our victory closer. And we have the opportunity to help wounded soldiers to recover faster.
Our mission is to share our knowledge and make people happier, because first of all we are for conscious nutrition. Today, many people think that it is a shame to think about health in the context of a war. But it is not so! Our health is an asset that we must take care of constantly. If you are healthy, you can be useful!
I want to note that at the beginning of the invasion in February-March, everyone selflessly volunteered and was forgetting to eat and sleep. But in the 5th month of the war, the Ukrainians realized that Health is a resource. Moreover, it is the most important and it has the property of being exhausted.
All Ukrainians have been in a state of chronic stress for a very long time. Under stress, there are certain nuances that affect the work of our entire body. This is primarily due to the influence of stress hormones, the main of which is cortisol. Cortisol (adrenal hormone, ed.) is a key player that helps the body in emergency situations release glucose in the liver, which is necessary for normal brain function. Chronic stress makes the level of cortisol constantly high, which makes it impossible to restore resources to complete detoxification processes. The hormone begins to show its negative properties. Fluctuations in blood sugar inevitably cause food cravings.
Understanding the process is half the way to correction. Therefore, the conscious consumption of food is now something that not only saves our body. It also allows our body to function more or less normally in abnormal conditions and it helps us to save money on medicines. We have to be healthy and strong now. And we must be able to raise funds for the next Bayraktar.
Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.
Why is it important to share this story?
If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.
АвторAuthor: Iryna Semenova | Translation: Diana Bevtsyk