A statement from the UK and Ireland’s Stop Hunger Foundation trustees on the Ukraine crisis
We've all been stunned and shaken by the events continuing to unfold in Ukraine.
According to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 3.5 million Ukrainian people* have fled their country because of the ongoing Russian invasion.
Many of these refugees have been forced to cross the borders of their European neighbours, including Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Slovakia, causing unnecessary suffering and food insecurity for thousands of people.
During this challenging time, our thoughts go out to all the Ukrainian people as well as our Sodexo colleagues and their families affected by the crisis.
At times like these many people want to show their support - we appreciate the kindness of all those who have reached out to us as individuals as well as Stop Hunger to ask how you can help. In this statement, we would like to address how the actions of Sodexo colleagues within the UK and Ireland can have the biggest impact.
Experts in humanitarian crises and charities around the world, including Stop Hunger, are advising the best way to help the displaced populations of Ukraine is to make monetary donations rather than collecting and sending items to Ukraine. Unfortunately, organisations on the ground do not have the capacity to be dealing with clothes or food donations, and there is compelling evidence to suggest up to 60% of in-kind donations are disposed into landfill.
Monetary donations remain the most efficient way to help and will help meet the actual and current needs of Ukrainians most impacted by the crisis. As an example, Ukraine is currently experiencing a shortage of certain medical items, but these cannot be donated by public and must be ordered from specialist suppliers.
With this in mind, Stop Hunger has activated its emergency fund to assist refugees in countries bordering Ukraine. The fund will see the donation of €100,000 (EUR) to the European Food Bank network, FEBA, which is present in countries within the region to help alleviate food insecurity and support local people in need.
As the founder of Stop Hunger, Sodexo has also launched its Employee Donations Global initiative with support from Stop Hunger’s long-term partner and the largest NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) fighting to tackle food insecurity, the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP).
A special donation page on WFP’s ShareTheMeal** website and app is available to all Sodexo employees - this can be accessed here - and will see Sodexo match fund employee donations up to €100,000.
This activity has so far raised more than $48,500 globally (£36,000 / €43,600), with approximately £7,300 / €8,800 already donated by Sodexo colleagues within the UK and Ireland.***
For Sodexo colleagues who would like to support these efforts, Stop Hunger has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document - please click here to download. The FAQs outline how Sodexo colleagues within the UK and Ireland can maximise their impact when conducting local fundraising activities.
Of course, we will be monitoring the situation day-by-day, and Stop Hunger will continue to investigate other ways the Foundation can help those affected by the Ukraine crisis in the most effective way.
The initiatives above are just the first steps to reactively respond and Stop Hunger is preparing to support over the long-term. Volunteering is one route we’re taking proactive steps to incorporate into our long-term vision for those within the UK and Ireland set by the examples of our Sodexo colleagues in Ukraine’s bordering countries, including Poland and Romania, who have already commenced this activity.
In the meantime, we ask Stop Hunger’s supporters to keep an eye out for future updates and to expect more information over the coming weeks and months.
Thank you to everyone who has or will be supporting Stop Hunger - we are grateful to all our donors and volunteers. Your efforts will and are making a significant difference.
If you would like any more information, please contact us via email - Sodexo colleagues can also reach out to their local Charity Champion - please see the FAQs.
***As of Friday 25 March 2022
Find more information about ongoing humanitarian assistance around the world via Relief Web.