Having previously financed and sent fifty trucks full of aid into Ukraine, total supply chain solutions specialist Oakland International focussed its efforts on packing up to 20,000 boxes full of food daily from their Leicestershire depot in Bardon equivalent to 10 full articulated trucks being dispatched to the Polish Ukraine border every day.
Led by the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK and his embassy team and co-ordinated by the CBI and fuelled by the Mail Force appeal, each box is individually packed at Bardon and contains 12,000 calories, which represents a week’s supply of food, and once packed and loaded on to trucks takes less than a week to reach Ukraine. The cost of assembling, packing and delivering the first 500,000 boxes across a continent, has been shared between the Ukrainian embassy in London, via the website www.withukraine.org and the Daily Mail’s Mail Force charity.
Oakland International Co-Founder and Group CEO Dean Attwell commented: “We have over the last few weeks teamed up with the Ukrainian embassy, CBI, Accenture, Smurfit Kappa, Morrisons and a number of other key partners to trial a new initiative of food boxes which contains enough food for a week for our Ukraine friends who have either been displaced, stranded or who are on the frontline.
“Coupled with monies from the Ukrainian embassy to fund 500,000 additional food boxes, all packed and delivered by the end of May from our Bardon depot, we are delighted to have now received support from the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the Mail Force appeal.”
The Ukrainian government has the mammoth task of keeping its population supplied with food and water when all forms of ordinary, civilian life remain under attack. Amongst many, large donations have also been made by SPAR UK and Bidfood, and over 260 pallets of public aid were collected in March via Oakland’s Redditch a drop-off centre, which was set up and managed by Dean’s 17-year-old son Samuel.
“Raising funds and filling boxes in the East Midlands for delivery to the Ukrainian border is one thing but it is the heroic drivers, truck and train crews delivering these boxes during the final stage of this extreme journey who are risking their lives to ensure that every bag of pasta and every tin of kidney beans ends up in the right place.
“This has been a massive team effort from all involved to make this happen. A huge thank you to our team members who are pulling out all the stops and our sincere thanks to Taras Krykun, the Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK, who has been a massive supporter of this initiative from the very outset.” said Dean.
The fundraising campaign is continuing with the support from the Mail Force appeal and through www.withUkraine.org so all help and fundraising in support of this initiative is hugely appreciated.
Oakland International is currently working on a new initiative which will be announced shortly that will give thousands of businesses, schools and communities the opportunity to participate in this monumental challenge.
Added Dean: “By providing complete food boxes we make the whole process much easier, and importantly safer for the Ukrainian people who still need to collect food, but as one food box contains enough food to feed a person for seven days, it also helps to reduce the amount of time people need to be outside and therefore their risk of exposure to attack.”