Red Cross volunteers sort chickens into boxes for people who need food. (AP)

Red Cross volunteers sort chickens into boxes for people who need food. (AP)

A chicken looks out from its crate. (AP)

A chicken looks out from its crate. (AP)

Chicken donations started for Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2017. (AP)

Chicken donations started for Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2017. (AP)

Some chickens will be food immediately. Others will produce eggs and chicks, to reduce future hunger needs. (AP)

Some chickens will be food immediately. Others will produce eggs and chicks, to reduce future hunger needs. (AP)

International Red Cross wants these Ukrainians to have tools to provide for them over time. (AP)

International Red Cross wants these Ukrainians to have tools to provide for them over time. (AP)

Chickens for Ukraine

Posted: November 1, 2020

“Chickens! Get your chickens here!”

More than a hundred needy families in Donetsk, Ukraine, get help. Each family receives nine broiler chickens. But these chickens aren’t wrapped in plastic. They’re still alive. The birds even come with two ingredients necessary for happy hens—chicken feed and roosters.

Volunteers from the International Committee of the Red Cross started the chicken donations in 2017. People in Donetsk live near fighting. In some parts of the city, homes lie less than a mile from battles between Ukrainian soldiers and separatists.

Why the fighting? Officials in some nations believe Ukraine should rule itself. Others believe the area should belong to Russia. Conflict started in 2014. That was after Russia claimed Crimea, which belongs to Ukraine. Around 13,000 people have died in the fighting since then.

Ukrainians often need food. Other countries help. But these Red Cross volunteers have a unique plan. They want to help Ukrainians raise food on their own. They want Ukrainian people to feel good about providing for themselves.

What would be best for Ukrainians? They need fighting to stop. They need a just government to rule. And—of course!—they need to eat. What better blessing than chickens? Farm animals like these are a gift that keeps on giving. Chickens produce eggs for eating. Baby chicks grow up into the next generation of egg-layers. Eventually, Ukrainians will be roasting chicken for dinner too. They may even sell extra meat and eggs for income.

Will these chickens or their chicks become . . . Chicken Kiev? Ukrainians love their Chicken Kiev. It’s a meal made by rolling a chicken cutlet around herb butter and coating it with breadcrumbs. This traditional dish gets its name from Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city.