In order for you to not waste your time for correspondence or a possibility of a meeting, we decided to provide answers to frequently asked questions here. This way anyone who wishes can form their opinion about our volunteer movement, philosophy and mission of our project.
Anyone who needs our support and help in a form of cooked meals can get it at the appropriate points of distribution (see the schedule on our website). We do not provide meals according to lists, coupons (except in the village of Gornoye) or by presenting any identity papers and/or permits. We help everybody who comes. However, we ask you to follow the rules of cultural demeanor and friendly attitude towards people around you. We do not provide help to people who are intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, and also do not allow smoking, use of obscene language, fights or scandals in places of distribution.
Volunteers of the project “Food for Life. Donetsk” is a secular independent group that interacts with a wide variety of organizations and faiths, advocates positive constructive dialogue and cooperation with state and public organizations, enterprises and individuals for the benefit of people in need, fulfilling the mission and goals of the volunteer group. Remaining a secular charitable organization that adheres to the constitutional equality of religions, “Food for Life. Donetsk” respects believers of all religions: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and other faiths.
Strictly adhering to the principle of secularism, we do not use religious ceremonies and religious propaganda in our social service. There are people of different ideological views and religions among volunteers of “Food for Life. Donetsk”. The unifying principle is the moral values inherent in all world religions: mercy, kindness, and compassion for one’s neighbor.
This question is generally a high priority to any charitable activity. A few of our volunteers worked in others charitable organizations that help to various social groups and they saw how their activity spoiled people, taught them that everything comes easy, without efforts etc.
However, in this regards “Food for Life. Donetsk” yields slightly different results. There is a common understanding between all active participants of the project (based on high principles of mercy) that we do not just give people food: from heart to heart we pass care, love and common values, which were once lost in society. And this is what makes the whole process special. And people who get help change and it is sometimes clearly seen by our volunteers.
They do not just go from starving to being full. Sometimes it’s the change for the better inside them, which happens faster for someone and longer for others. That’s why the boundary doesn’t lay in making lives relatively better by feeding and lowering the need. The hunger of the heart is much deeper, and the need of love – ours and theirs – is so huge that mission of “Food for Life. Donetsk”, as we see it, will not cease to have its relevance and value for a long time.
To give you a practical example: some people (not many, but still), after getting help during a critical time in their life, immediately offer help in return – either by serving in the kitchen or chopping firewood. Their boundary is defined by their own conscience – they, themselves do not want to be a free rider.
Others – people of middle and pre-retirement age – they come again and again to get warm porridge to survive their troubles. If and when it becomes easier, they continue to come, and when they are full, they continue coming not get food for themselves but to take some and bring it to their old neighbors, poor people, etc.
And it seems that in this the boundary must have been reached – as those people are not in need anymore as the others. But during this time they got the values of helping each other, compassion and they continue coming and taking food mostly to help others.
Well, the third category, the majority, is people over 60 years old. There is no boundary of help when it comes to them. They were surviving for their lives before year 2014 and after, during the shooting war. And even if the shooting will stop, their well-being will not change for the better. They don’t have neither health, nor energy to change sometimes in their lives. They always need such care and help.
Consider the practical side:
Meat products spoil quickly, and animal fats are hard to clean off food containers. This can lead to violating sanitary norms and food poisoning. We’ve not had a single food poisoning since we started!
Not all of those who come to get food eat meat for various reasons (health, religion or moral beliefs). On the other hand, a healthy vegetarian meal has no such “contradictions”.
Most of our volunteers are vegetarians; and working with products of slaughter is alien to us.
And the moral side:
One of the goals of our as a whole is to promote the idea of non-violence in all its manifestations (including rejection of meat consumption), while of hunger by feeding poor and poor people with vegetarian healthy food.
We are convinced that eating meat (as well as fish products and eggs) increasingly deprives people of mercy, compassion, understanding of human and spiritual values. The meat industry is based on mass extermination – killing – of living animals, and everyone who somehow participates in it contributes to the further degradation of humanity and the destruction of the natural wealth and resources of our common home – the planet Earth.
Effects of meat consumption for human health:
Eating meat is also harmful for health. Saturated fats in most types of meat contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases, and toxins that appear in decomposed flesh damage the nervous system and contribute to the development of dementia, paralysis, etc.
The use of meat and meat products is carcinogenic and can lead to the development of cancer, says a group of experts of the World Health Organization, who studied the data on the effect of meat consumption on human health. WHO experts believe that eating beef, veal, pork, mutton, lamb, horse or goat meat on a daily basis can increase the chances of developing both prostate and pancreatic cancers.
“The medicine must be food, and the food must be medicine”! Therefore, we do not use meat, fish, eggs, as well as stale, expired and spoiled foods; and our vegetarian meals are clean, blissful and healing, with a beneficial effect on the person’s health.
Since the beginning of the military conflict throughout the territory of DPR, all international banking systems have stopped their operations, so banks do not work. However, volunteers have opened bank accounts in countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and organized a system to deliver the money in order to continue with our mission of providing food to people. Ultimately, volunteers hand over all donations personally and directly to the leadership of the group. As for accepting international money transfers to Ukraine – we accept them through internet banking system of “Privat24”, after which we withdraw cash or purchase food products or equipment in Ukraine.
No, and to understand this, it’s enough to learn a little about the history of the “Food for Life” program.
Food for Life is an international charity program for the distribution of healthy vegetarian food, operating in more than 60 countries around the world, with more than 170 centers around the world. All organizations are independent of each other, but are subject to a common mission, goals and objectives.
“Food for Life” was founded in 1974 to provide filling vegetarian meals to people of socially unprotected segments of the population, as well as those affected by natural disasters and military conflicts, to help all in need, regardless of their race, nationality, political and religious beliefs.
Like all other groups of “Food for Life” movement, the volunteer group of “Food for Life. Donetsk” also stays out of politics and does not support the ideology of any of the political parties, organizations and associations (both Ukraine, and the DPR and the Russian Federation), and does not take sides in the military conflict in Donbass. We can cooperate (interact) with political parties and other public organizations or government bodies only to achieve the goals of our mission and program.
In addition, the volunteer group of the project “Food for Life. Donetsk” feeds on both sides of the conflict – both on the territory not controlled by Ukraine, and on the front-line territory, both in Donetsk and Kramatorsk, and Mariupol. Also, independent groups “Food for Life” are located in Ukraine, Russia, Europe and other countries. Therefore, such a question is unfounded.
For intelligent people, the fact of provoked confrontation, war, deception and manipulation (which will always be) is obvious, as well as the presence of people in need, whom often no one can help but us. We are not looking for anyone to place blame – we provide urgent “nutritious” help.
You must admit that it would be a mockery for a doctor to ask a patient on the verge of life and death about his religion, political convictions, or social status. The doctor, according to his Hippocratic Oath, simply helps the patient to recover. And so do we – we just help, because it is what are souls are calling for.
Let’s get to know each other!
“Food for Life. Donetsk” is a humanitarian charity project whose volunteers have been cooking meals day after day for 4 years, to distribute it for free throughout Donbass to anyone in need, regardless of race, political or religious beliefs.
You can learn more about us and see our activity reports on our following social media pages and groups:
If you look through our Youtube page (https://www.youtube.com/c/FoodforLifeDonetsk) you will find more than 230 videos covering entire project history, the work we do and people that are going through tough time due to war actions in Donbass. But also, you will be able to dive into a wonderful world of selfless service of people and for people. We also share daily photos from the meal distribution points.
At the moment, our volunteer group of “Food for Life. Donetsk” systematically feeds the civilian population with hot meals five days a week (from Monday to Friday) in the following areas: