Helping your neighbor helps you

“Who’s next?” asks a 60-year-old man.
“You will follow me,” answers a gray-haired woman with a 6-year-old granddaughter.
“Haven’t come yet? Won’t they distribute food today?”
“They will. The men have already gone to help carrying it.”

The yard near the house at 36A Hryhorenko Street is crowded. Up to 30 people. Here they are waiting for the distribution of lunches from the “Food for Life. Kyiv”. Retired people. Immigrants. People with disabilities. Young and old. With children and grandchildren.

After 15 minutes, when the volunteers came out for distribution, there were twice as many people, and everyone politely lined up in a long line. The first hot lunches they give to the people who helped the chefs in delivery and setting the tables. Some people have been coming here for more than three months, and some showed up for the first time. Most of them come with their hot lunch boxes (porridge, salad, sauce) and a bag for rolls and cookies.

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“The millet porridge looks delicious today…”
“You have such fresh buns. Put as much as you don’t mind. I will also take them to the homeless.”
“And you can also have cookies, because there is always a contest for cookies at our house. How do you bake so well?..”
“I’d like 10 servings, please. I feed all my neighbors and acquaintances; I bring your dinners.”

The distribution takes place in one breath. People thank volunteers, wish them good health and may God protect those who faithfully serve the “Food for Life. Kyiv”. Someone has time to complain about life, about war. Some have nothing to eat, and some have nowhere to stay. The war became a real test for people. But they believe that the volunteers of “Food for Life. Kyiv” will come and people will know what to eat today/tomorrow.

Volunteer Serhii shares his experiences: “Today, during the distribution, I talked to people in line. It turned out that there were many refugees from Kharkiv, Mariupol and other cities. Many of them live practically on the street… Their stories are so “bitter” that it is impossible not to cry… The heart shudders from their sincere thanks for the hot dinners prepared by the  “Food for Life. Kyiv” soulful team.

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In general, there are 6 distribution points in Kyiv in different parts of the city. Volunteers also deliver food to the apartments. Mostly to retired or disabled people who cannot physically come to the distribution point. Therefore, about 50 portions are delivered daily by volunteers to the addresses throughout the city. Just recently under his care “Food for Life. Kyiv” took under its care the 80-year-old grandmother Matrona, who lives in Podil. She was left alone and no one could help her. In addition, the woman is completely blind, so she hardly leaves the house. Now volunteers bring her a portion of hot lunch every day, for which she is very grateful.

They say that a person can cope without many things, but not without another person. Yes, we depend on each other. Every day and anywhere. However, we can either help our neighbor, or harm him, or not to pay attention to him at all. The “Food for Life. Kyiv” chooses the first option and tries to help people every day with basic need at least – to feed them.

Volunteers cannot remain indifferent to ther people’s troubles and regularly lend a helping hand to people. And this hand holds a portion of hot lunch that saves more than one life. After all, it is well known that by helping others, we help ourselves.

Victoria Kotenok

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