Uzhhorod is a city in western Ukraine whose population is growing on a daily basis with people seeking safety and refuge from the war.
Although the city is currently escaping direct Russian aggression, its infrastructure is under huge strain.
One of the immediate problems is feeding the displaced people who are heading to Uzhhorod. The city has a bakery run by the church which has the ability to make bread but has no access to flour from within Ukraine.
There are a multitude of problems preventing them for sourcing flour, including a lack of diesel, flour mills in Kyiv no longer being operational and deliveries from within the country being almost impossible due to blown up bridges and inaccessible roads.
Thankfully, help is on its way from Cumbria thanks to A.W. Jenkinson Transport Limited, Carrs Flour Mills and GrainCo who sent out twenty tonnes of flour to the bakery on Wednesday 20 April.
Sara Valentin, media manager at A.W. Jenkinson, said: “We are really proud to be working with the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance transporting this much needed flour free of charge. When a local farming group asked for our assistance, we were keen to supply the transport, fuel, and drivers. This company started off as a farming business and farming is at our heart.”
Julius Deane, Wheat Director of Carrs Flour Mills, added: “A farming friend of mine asked if there was any chance Carrs Flour Mills could donate some flour for this cause free of charge. Four pallets quickly grew to eight and now we’ve decided to give twenty pallets which will make approximately 100,000 loaves of bread. We’ve been able to increase the amount we are sending because half of the funding required has been generously supplied by GrainCo based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It’s an excellent quality general purpose bread flour milled at Kirkcaldy.
“All of us at GrainCo and Carrs Flour Mills have been horrified by what is going on in Ukraine and wanted to help. It’s the first time in my career wheat has been front page news.”
NFU members Paul and Nicola Renison of Cannerheugh Farm in Renwick, their friend Barny Maurice and charity organiser Nigel Harling can be credited with making initial contact with the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance.
Nicola said: “During the second week of the invasion Paul woke up and said we have to do something to help. We set up a GoFundMe page and raised £15,000 within a week just from donations from concerned members of the British public.”
On 23 March Paul and Barney were part of a group which travelled to Lublin in Poland, on the Ukrainian border. They took a mini bus and transit van loaded up with medical equipment donated by local vets. They also took essentials such as nappies. This is where Paul and Barney met Maksym Kryvonis, Executive Director of the Eastern European Agricultural Alliance, who asked for help with sourcing flour for the bakery.
Barney added: “We dropped off all of the equipment at a big depot which was rammed with volunteers. There were lots of nationalities represented, loads from Poland.”