Volunteers pack thousands of meals in Raleigh for Ukrainian refugees

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Friday marks 100 days since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

The war that has killed thousands of people and displaced millions of others shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

"I didn't see it coming," said Alena Jones, an NC State graduate student who was born in the Ukraine and adopted from an orphanage when she was two years old. "The pictures are on the Internet, so everyone has seen it too. It's just pure evil."

Alena was part of the nearly 200 people who came to the annex of the Providence Baptist Church Friday to pack meals for refugees.

"I'm very proud to be here," Alena said. "I'm even more proud now and to help these people and show God's love."

The goal was 50,000 meals Friday and the same in two other sessions over the weekend.

Volunteers sorted the mixtures and vacuum sealed the bags. There were some vegetable and soy mixtures plus vitamins and rice.

"This is an opportunity to do something we can't always physically do," church member Jane Currin said. "We can do the physical work to send the food we know will bring comfort to folks.

The church partnered with the non-profit Feed the Hunger, which has helped pack meals all over the country for refugees. So far 800,000 have been sent to Poland and the Ukraine.

The meals packed Friday will be added to the next container to make more than 1 million meals.

"Jesus told us to care of the poor and feed the hungry," said Sharon Martinez, a parishioner at the church for ten years. "He tells us if we do that, we're being a blessing not only to them but him as well."

Sharon felt helpless as the war has gone on and had wanted to do something.

"These folks need it. There are people who are suffering and they're hungry," she said.
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