Posted by District Club Service Chair, Rosemary Waghorne

On 27th September FORaMEAL food packs to make 100,000 nutritious meals were transported to Rotary’s Donations in Kind warehouse. The packs will be collected by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and sent via Poland to the people of Ukraine.   The shipment will also include 6 pallets of medical and surgical supplies supplied and packed by the Ukrainian Association of Melbourne and DIK, and, as a special request, underpants, that were sourced from all over Melbourne.

FORaMEAL, a project of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, started as an initiative to provide emergency relief meals for those impacted by natural disasters. In the first few years, 150,000 meals per year were provided free of charge across the Asia Pacific region to vulnerable individuals and families  impacted by such disasters.  During COVID lockdowns, more than 200,000 meals were also provided to vulnerable people within the local community. 
The meal packs are packed by a variety of groups, including Rotarians, school students and other community organisations and stored until a need arises.  When the call came for food for Ukraine, supplies were on hand for speedy delivery. 
A special request from Ukraine was underpants for Ukrainian fighters, who have little or no opportunity to launder their clothes or replace worn ones.  The addition of medical and surgical supplies also meets a critical need in Ukraine. 
Rotarians are particularly grateful that the ADF can transport the goods efficiently and cost-free to Ukraine where they are vital to sustain the ongoing war effort. 
Whatever the need, Rotary finds a way to meet it!