SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A lot of people really have no idea what is next.
Their only objective was to get out of Ukraine.
As Russia continues to invade Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the country seeking safety.
Many of them traveled across borders and were met by volunteers on the other end.
World Central Kitchen, which responds to many crises around the globe and even right here in California during the wildfires, is one of those nonprofits feeding thousands crossing the border.
KRON4 spoke with the director of emergency response who left San Francisco three days ago to help Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland.
“Look these are people that are displaced, don’t have a home, don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal,” said Sam Bloch who is the director of emergency response of World Central Kitchen.
World Central Kitchen is helping solve one of those problems for thousands of people fleeing ukraine.
Bloch traveled from San Francisco to Poland a few days ago to ensure that people crossing the Ukrainian-Poland border each day are being met with food, water, and other resources.
“One of the borders where we’re set up with thousands of hot meals every day is a main pedestrian border so we got about 10,000 people each day walking across that border and some of them… I talked to a young lady today who walked 60 kilometers, and it was snowing today,” Bloch said. “It’s really cold. To walk 60 kilometers and then we’re waiting in line to exit Ukraine for 12 hours — no food, no water. It was the first hot meal she had in three days.”
Bloch says most of the people he sees are families made up of women and children.
“You can see behind me these people are just coming and these buses are just making laps to and from the border, bringing people to what is essentially what you guys would equate to a Walmart parking lot and from there just figuring it out,” he said. “A lot of people are unsure. There are accommodation centers getting set up, thousands of people.”
In addition to their work in Poland, World Central Kitchen is also supporting local restaurants preparing meals in Odesa and lviv, which are two cities in Ukraine.
The nonprofit is also preparing a response to families arriving in Romania and Moldova.
“We don’t know it’s estimated hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have left and we don’t know how many more hundreds of thousands will leave if not millions, as well as how long it is before they’re able to return home, so however long it is and however many it is we’re prepared to do what we need to do,” Bloch said.
Chef Jose Andres, who founded World Central Kitchen, also took to Twitter, committing million-dollar donations to Ukraine from the Jeff Bezos Courage and Civility Award. which he was a recipient of last year.