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Local groups hold Ukrainian Food Festival to raise money for relief

Money raised is to be used for medical supplies
Ukrainian food festival
Posted at 11:43 AM, Apr 24, 2022

CINCINNATI — Local charitable organizations are holding a Ukrainian food festival Sunday to raise money to send medical supplies to Ukraine.

The event is a collaboration between Hope4Ukraine and Cincy4Ukraine. Organizers expect to serve more than a dozen traditional Ukrainian dishes and said every dollar raised will go directly to relief efforts.

It’s happening at the Fleming Road United Chuch of Christ in Springfield Township starting at noon.

“Everyone is a little bit Ukrainian right now,” said Oksana Sergeenkova, one of the founding members of Hope4Ukraine.

Sergeenkova started the organization alongside Natalia Artemova. When the war started, the two knew they had to do something to help. Sergeenkova is from Ukraine and Artemova is from Russia.

“Even though were far far away from Ukraine, we’re part of it,” Artemova said.

Hope4Ukraine has hosted 10 markets over the last few months to raise money for relief efforts. The women have relief on donated goods and have sent about $5,000 overseas so far, according to Artemova.

“To be a part of restoring the country, to be part is very important,” Sergeenkova said. “You can’t stay away and just watch how your your past, your friends, all what you had before [is] falling apart. You’re holding their backs.”

This weekend’s food festival is a joint effort with Cincy4Ukraine, a local organization that has worked to raise money to support Ukraine’s military.

Sergii Kharchyk, who works with the organization, said it was “unbelievable” to see volunteers come together to prepare the food.

“First day when I came here and saw 30 people working together, it’s hard to express that feeling,” he said.

Kharchyk is Ukrainian too and still has friends and family abroad.

“We have to admit that this is not that the case where one day of help is enough, or one paycheck is enough,” he said.

Both groups agreed the work is far from over.

“This won’t stop after victory,” Sergeenkova said. “We need to rebuild the country. We need to bring life back to Ukraine.”