Thursday, June 30, 2022

Food, a universal human right

Daily Inter Lake | April 17, 2022 12:00 AM

I had intended this column to be about my memories of Easter Sunday growing up in Columbus, Ohio. About Easter morning Mass in what was once a small church with cracked plaster walls (later to be replaced by a monumental, circular building with 30 beautiful stained glass windows). About pastel Easter coats, Easter hats crowned with flowers and patent leather shoes. About neighborhood Easter egg hunts — always taking place on Easter Sunday — and those old family photos of me toddling through our own or someone else’s backyard, Easter basket in pudgy little hand.

I wanted to share my delight every Easter morning when my brothers, sister and I dove into our Easter baskets. To tell you of my mother’s traditional ham dinner served in the dining room, reserved for holidays and special occasions.

But this Holy Season my heart is focused on the Ukrainian people. It has been over 40 days — longer than the season of Lent, that this unprovoked war has obliterated Ukrainian communities, left people lying in the streets, hands bound and shot in the head — civilian men, women and children murdered — and triggered one of the largest refugee crises in history.

And Russia’s propaganda campaign boasting the deNazification of Ukraine justifying its near obliteration of its populace is a ludicrous, desperate, and criminal, defense.

These atrocities claw at the last fragile fibers of hope for peace for the Ukrainian people. The world will never forget this cruel and shameful period in history. The West’s sanctions against Russia continue to squeeze the giant, but the war rages on, each new day seeming more barbaric than the last.

Since the beginning of the invasion, the nonprofit World Central Kitchen has been working with local partners to deliver over six million hot, nutritious meals to Ukrainians who are fighting not just missiles and bombs, but starvation. World Central Kitchen has been providing food daily to those in bomb shelters, hospitals and churches, to seniors and those on the front lines. Founded in 2010 by celebrity chef Jose Andres, World Central Kitchen has served tens of millions of meals to communities impacted by natural disasters and humanitarian crises, ever since the massive earthquake that devastated Haiti. Since Feb. 24, the first day of the Russian invasion, World Central Kitchen began delivering thousands of tons of food and supplies by train and truck to Ukraine, to the more than 7 million who have been forced to flee their homes, including more than four million refugees in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

As Andres says, “You’d be amazed at the power of a plate of food. It can change the world, and so can you.”

If you would like to learn more, visit Donations may also be made by check payable to World Central Kitchen, Inc. and mailed to World Central Kitchen, Attn: Donor Services Team, 200 Mass Ave NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20001.

Again, I echo the words of the country’s national anthem, “Ukraine's freedom has not yet perished, nor has her glory.”

Today, on this blessed Easter Sunday, my prayers are with Ukraine.

Community editor Carol Marino may be reached at 406-758-4440 or

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