A GROUP of eight volunteers left Cork Penny Dinners yesterday evening bound for the Ukrainian border in Poland, where they will distribute 50 tonnes of humanitarian aid donated by the people of Cork.
This is the second such mission for the charity’s volunteers. Last month a group, made up of volunteers from Penny Dinners — including co-ordinator Caitríona Twomey — and from Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery, drove five vans across Europe, delivering 15 tonnes of humanitarian aid.
For this month’s delivery, Ms Twomey said, Penny Dinners has secured sponsorship from logistics provider DB Schenker, who will deliver to the Ukrainian border two articulated lorries carrying 50 tonnes of aid.
“We are flying out to Poland early on Wednesday morning, and we will meet the lorries there, and we will hire vans and distribute aid from there,” Ms Twomey told The Echo.
“We learned on our previous trip exactly what was needed, so we’re going back now with the makings of a small field hospital.
“We have 12 generators, we have the jerry-cans, we have medical equipment, tents, sleeping bags, baby food, all donated by the incredibly generous people of Cork, and we’re going out with a clear focus on what is needed on the ground.
“One of the lorries is going to the Redemptorist Centre in Ljesk, and they will distribute aid into Ukraine, and we will drive down to Katowice, where we will deliver aid to people coming from villages all along the border. We will also deliver aid for an orphanage in Ukraine, and we have a delivery of baby food and medical equipment for our friend Dr Anastasia Koloka, who is a cardiologist working in Kyiv.”
Ms Twomey thanked DB Schenker for delivering the aid to the Ukrainian border, and CGI Foodpark for packing and storing it in their Midleton depot.
She also thanked Community Garda Tony Gardiner for driving the group to Dublin.
Padraig O’Connell of CGO Foodpark Midleton said his company was very proud to have a long association with Cork Penny Dinners.
“It’s devastating to see the consequences of war on ordinary people like ourselves in Ukraine, and we are delighted to be in a position to assist Caitríona Twomey in the marvellous work she is doing,” he said.
Ray Hennessy, CEO of DB Schenker UK & Ireland, said: “As one of our initiatives to support Ukraine, DB Schenker is delighted to assist Penny Dinners to deliver much-needed humanitarian supplies to the region.”