Daily Bread Project

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The rich dark soil and the vast fields of wheat have earned Ukraine the nickname, the “Bread Basket of Europe”. This is a special land. Ukraine is home to one-third of the world’s black soil, a special type of earth that is known for its large quantities of nutrients and superior capacity to hold water. This soil helped the country generate more than one-fourth of the Soviet Union’s grain. But agriculture has fallen on distressing times since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and independence in 1991.

During the years 1932-1933, over 7 million people starved to death in Ukraine. Those faced with starvation tried everything possible to save themselves and their families. Some started eating dogs and cats. Others went hunting for birds: crows, magpies, swallows, sparrows, storks, and even nightingales. One could see starving villagers searching in the bushes along the river for birds’ nests or looking for crabs and other small crustaceans in the water. Even their hard shells, though not edible, were cooked and the broth consumed as nourishment. One could see crowds of famished villagers combing the woods in search of roots or mushrooms and berries. Some tried to catch small forest animals. Driven by hunger, people ate everything and anything: even food that had already rotted: potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables that pigs normally refused to eat. People even ate weeds, the leaves and bark of trees, insects, frogs and snails. Nor did they shy away from eating the meat of diseased horses and cattle. Often that meat was already decaying and those who ate it died of food poisoning.

The people in Ukraine are starving again. Not because of a famine, this time, but because they cannot afford to buy food. Statistics says that the unemployment level in Ukraine is at 9%. This is a false picture. There are cities where 80-90% are unemployed. In a town of 50,000, where coal mining was the main industry, almost all of these people are now unemployed with little or no support. In the city of Lisichansk, the main industry was the oil refinery. This provided 10,000 jobs, which would support more than 50,000 people. This refinery has been closed for more than two years. This city has the highest suicide rate in all of Ukraine. No jobs, means that many people are surviving on only a very small support from the State.

It is in cities like these that we have developed programs to help the poor. We begin by reaching out to the desperate, those in the lowest levels of poverty. There are three reasons for our Daily Bread Program:

  

1.) To meet the daily meal needs of the people who are suffering

2.) To build a relationship with them and share the Gospel

3.) To introduce those who show an interest in the Gospel, to other programs for alleviating their poverty

 

The need for this Daily Bread Program is great. Thousands of dollars are needed to keep it running and to keep people from starving or scavenging the dump sites. Please support us so that we can continue baking bread for the poor in Eastern Europe.