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«Feed My Starving Children». Harbingers of the food crisis

Harbingers of the food crisis

Even 3 months ago, not a single person in the world could think that the war in Ukraine would affect their food market. According to statistics, grain and other agricultural crops exported from Ukraine are exported to more than 190 countries. This reflects the strong dependence of many foreign companies on the Ukrainian harvest. Due to the hostilities, 22% of the country's territory are occupied and 80% of the territory got under the threat of shelling, it is next to impossible to carry out new sowing and continue to export grain.

The blockade of Ukrainian ports makes it impossible to export grain to Europe by sea, the poorly developed railway system - by land. As a result, the first harbingers of trouble are already coming up to the surface: the prices of butter, cereals and other goods are rising every month. The countries with the most disadvantaged position are the countries of the EU, which, according to data, rank first in imports of corn, millet, legumes and other grains.

Some comment the situation, based only on the loss of their personal comfort. Ukraine, as the border between two completely different worlds and political systems, took a strong blow from the aggressor, all to save its values ​​and the values ​​of Europe from Russian autocracy. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses, workers in factories and even those who’d simply grown vegetables in their gardens took the hit. Despite this, Ukraine understands the importance of supporting Europe and is ready to supply other countries. The question is, if in such a situation we continue to think only about comfort and do not take into account the circumstances of both sides, especially Ukrainian ones, then what will happen in the end?

Many times, Russia created an artificial famine, taking away all the food and putting a heavy tax on trees, to weaken the fortitude and the impossibility of a revolution. Can the scenario repeat itself? If the war enters a protracted stage, and Russia continues to steal agricultural crops and sell it under its ensign, then yes.

The serious problem of food shortage should be brought at the national level of every country. We are part of one big system - and if one collapses, then everyone who can directly or indirectly influence the situation needs to act. It is not only about weapons and money, although these are important components of this system. Without them, Ukrainians would feel all the scale of pain that betrayal by the allies leaves. It also talks about food. Food is a force without which it is impossible to win and without which not one of the bravest warriors, not a single soldier, not a single statesman who sees that citizens agonize from hunger will last.

Feed My Starving Children

In the Christian world, faith retains commonality even on different continents. This faith contributes to the support of those who, in difficult times, cry out to God for help. Many American and European companies work in various fields of ministry and at various levels: they mobilize ministers for missionary work, publish and distribute Christian literature, fund projects, feed the hungry, etc. Through the efforts of many Christians belonging to different faiths and denominations, a huge platform for supporting those who not only need, but long for it. Hundreds of people work every day, not thinking about their own benefit, but on the contrary, taking care of children, families and countries that need help first and foremost.

At the moment, Feed My Starving Children, with which the Association of Mennonite Brethren churches and “School Without Walls” have been cooperating since 2014, can greatly help Ukraine thanks to their special product – MannaPack Rice.

MannaPack Rice is more than just a pack of rice that has been cleaned and packed. This is a sophisticated formula designed to meet the nutritional needs of many hungry people around the world. The organization believes that hope begins with food. Since its establishment in 1987, they have adhered to this principle and brought hope to millions of children and adults in the form of nutritious food.

Packed with a lot of nutrients on its own, rice contains a huge amount of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that turn one serving of rice into a full meal. Due to the sufficient amount of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, thanks to vitamins B, A, C and D, as well as calcium and iron, eating only one MannaPack rice for three months provides a complete diet that a person needs. In addition, many diseases and developmental problems can be prevented by eating it, a person's mood improves. This formula allows the product to be stored for a long time waiting for “that very moment” to come.

The organization distributes MannaPack Rice to various parts of the world: Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North, Central and South America, as well as to 13 Caribbean countries. “To do this well, we must continually invest in diversity and inclusion. All of God's children—whether they eat the FMSC food, distribute it, finance it, or manufacture it—bear the image of Christ. Jesus encourages us to love our neighbors. For us, this means welcoming, honoring and empowering those around. These values ​​are non-negotiable." says their website.

FMSC works with food distribution partners who stay with communities for the long term.

"That Very Moment"

In 2014, the FMSC responded to the needs of Ukrainians as the war was engulfing eastern Ukraine. The war so sudden and devastating that many people were fleeing their homes without even grabbing a change of clothing. The organization supplied its products and the churches began to feed the refugees, the homeless and others for a long time.

Thanks to the dietary formula, the food turned out to be very satisfying, healthy, and the spices added by the volunteers emphasized its taste.

After the decline in the number of refugees and the war entering a protracted stage, ministers continued to use the FMSC products to feed the homeless and the poor, people in rehabilitation facilities, orphanages and nursing homes when they had difficulty purchasing food.

Minister Yury from Zaporozhye, who was engaged in feeding the homeless, described his acquaintance with the company's products in the following way: “For the first time, this product was offered to me by the Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches. I was very surprised when I heard about the abilities of this product and, frankly, I was skeptical. But after months, more and more people who came to us thanked for the food and said that they began to feel much better”.

Sergey, coordinator of the Reimer Center in Zaporozhye, which, along with the leaders of the School Without Walls, distributes humanitarian aid, including MannaPack Rice, says: “During a crisis, any healthy food is a blessing for people. We are very happy that we have MannaPack rice and that we can distribute it to people who don’t have anything. Many thank us and ask for more. But unfortunately, we only have 10 boxes left.”

In addition to these people, minister Sergey, who was also engaged in feeding people in Zaporozhye and beyond, shared his view: “Due to the fact that this rice is cooked with a small amount of oil and at a low temperature, people can easily cook rice on their own in the field conditions. This is very good for those who do not have a permanent place of residence. It is also convenient during children's tent camps, where food is cooked on a fire».

Roman, director of the Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Ukraine, expresses his gratitude to the organization: “We began to actively work with FMSC in 2014. Then Ukraine was stirred up by the war in the Donbass. In 2016, after the decline in the number of refugees and the entry of the war into a protracted stage, the ministers of the association continued to use FMSC products and distribute MannaPack rice among difficult categories of the population: people without a permanent place of residence, low-income families with many children, former drug addicts and alcoholics in rehabilitation centers, as well as taken to orphanages and used during children's camps. Thanks to their products for 8 years, thousands of hungry people had something to eat. The product became a solid help for them. And now that a new cloud of the food crisis is looming over Ukraine, MannaPack Rice will be a great blessing.”

Reaction to the situation

At this point, many are concerned about the future developments. The protracted stage is one of the worst-case scenarios, which is likely to lead to starvation, great losses and destruction. Now is the time to get ready.

It is often said: "Forewarned is forearmed." In winter, we hoped and believed that war was not possible in the 21st century. But the opposite happened. Now that our hopes have not been justified, when Ukraine has been engulfed by war, when there is an increasing shortage of food, and warehouses are getting empty, we have a chance to prepare. All ministers and Christians must be prepared for a possible crisis. God gives time for us to react, because after that we won’t be able to say: “No one warned us.”

The Lord takes care of his sheep. Then do we Christians have the right to stay away from the grief of others?

We are grateful to Feed My Starving Children for responding and sending several containers of MannaPack Rice to the needy people in Ukraine since 2014 up to now. Thanks to their contribution, many Ukrainians did not experience hunger. With MannaPack it became possible to help those in need every day for a long period of time. We are also grateful to other partners, to everyone who took part in this.

In 2022, the war has taken on a much graver scale compared to 2014. It has become more merciless, more dangerous and bears unpredictable consequences. Therefore, the task of Christians in Ukraine is to prepare for any scenario, especially for a global food crisis.

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