Families Get Food

Over 1 500 families have received gluten free food packages in Ukraine

  • 7th April 2022
  • 4 min read

Families inside Ukraine receive
food packages with support from AOECS

Gluten free food parcels have been distributed to over 1 500 families inside Ukraine. Each day 30-40 new families register for receiving gluten free food. The need for humanitarian aid is growing.

- The assistance that the Polish Society is now providing us will help them survive these difficult conditions, says Dr. Olga Naumova, President of the Ukrainian Celiac Society.

Food shortage, especially hard on coeliacs

One of the consequences of the conflict is that it is hard to find food in stores in Ukraine. The situation is even worse for Ukrainians suffering from coeliac disease, which means that they have to eat food without gluten.

It is virtually impossible for some coeliacs to keep food containing gluten once it has been eaten. For other coeliacs, consuming gluten-containing food means long-term damage to their digestive system causing immediate pain, fatigue and other long-term deficiency diseases.

National Coeliac Societies ship food into Ukraine

For this reason, the member societies of AOECS are trying to ship gluten free food into Ukraine and support refugees with gluten free food and information on how to find it in local stores. Thanks to generous donations to the AOECS Emergency Fund it has been possible to scale up these efforts. To this day, thanks to the common efforts of our National and affiliated societies, the Emergency Fund has been able to raise 98 000 €.

We are happy to report that help is reaching its destination, thanks to hard and often voluntary work by our member societies and donations from benevolent food producers.

- These days have been difficult for all of us. But thanks to the help of all AOECS members, we were able to provide our children with gluten-free products. These days, more than ever, we feel the friendly shoulder of our Polish colleagues, especially Malgorzata and her team. We understand how much effort goes into this, says Dr. Naumova

Ukrainian Coeliac Society administers distribution inside Ukraine

The Ukrainian coeliac society has been able to establish four points for receiving humanitarian aid in Ukraine (Lviv, Vinnitsa, Kyiv and Mukachevo). From there they are able to send food parcels to remote areas as well as hot spots deep inside Ukraine, such as Sumy, Chernihiv, Melitopol, Kharkov, Yuzhnoukrainsk, Nikolaev and Konotop. Around 1 500 families have received gluten free food and 30 to 40 new families are registering to receive food each day.

Coeliac Societies in neighbouring countries are also making sure the coeliac refugees that have fled the terrors of war have access to gluten free food and shelter.

- We receive grateful messages about how these people are accepted into families, how they are being helped to adapt to a foreign country, Dr. Naoumova continues. I want to share with you photos of our children who receive long-awaited products. It is to you, those who are helping Ukraine now, that words of gratitude are addressed from children and their parents and our volunteers.

Families Get Food

Photo: Ukrainian families with coeliac family members. All parents have given their consent to publish these pictures.

How you can help

Companies and private individuals can support by sending donations to the AOECS Central Emergency Fund with the following bank details:

Bank name: KBC Banque Brussels
IBAN: BE66 7360 3218 2543
Mark payment with: “Donation for Ukrainian Coeliacs”

If you rather want to donate to a local bank in your country, please visit the website of the National Coeliac Society in your country or contact them for advice.