Take a stand against Putin’s wrath: Baking for peace, humanity and the British Red Cross

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Take a stand against Putin’s wrath: Bake for peace, humanity and the British Red Cross

Related tags Russia-Ukraine conflict Matthews Cotswold Flour Lovingly Artisan British Red Cross refugees home baking Flour Earth & Wheat Food waste wonky bread

Matthews Cotswold Flours and Cumbrian bakery Lovingly Artisan are calling on bakers – both professionals and home enthusiasts – to dust off their aprons and get creative to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees. Earth & Wheat, too, joins UK's massive movement to help those displaced.

The duo has paired up to kick off a month-long campaign in April to inspire bakers across the UK to get their bake on to raise funds to support the efforts of the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal in helping the millions of displaced people crossing the border to escape Putin’s wrath.

“Bread has long been associated with being the ‘staff of life’ and with that firmly in our minds, both companies wanted to do our bit to help,”​ said Aidan Monks, founder of Lovingly Artisan Bakery.

“Baking always seems to bring people together, especially during times like these when even that simple thing can help raise vital funds and support people in dire need in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.”

Helping you to help others

Aware that Brits, too, are facing a mounting challenge with crippling inflation, Matthews – one of the UK’s oldest family-run flour mills – is making it a little easier to get involved by discounting all of its professional and home bake flour ranges by 50%.

“We all have a duty to support those affected by this enormous tragedy,”​ said Bertie Mathews, MD of Matthews Cotswold Flour.

“We hope to encourage home bakers and professional bakers alike to support the funding drive for the Red Cross. This means sending out heavily discounted flour directly to bakers doors to get the campaign started.”

He added he is roping in the family to bake cookies for the cause.

Get inspired

Lovingly Artisan Bakery is also joining the party, by donating baking knowhow in the form of recipes and insight, along with 2,000 freshly baked ciabattas. The baker is inviting its bakery customers in the Lakes and Manchester areas to get involved: to sell the breads over the weekend of 1-2 April and donate all sales to the British Red Cross.

Taxpayer bonus

If you’re a UK taxpayer, donating through Gift Aid means charities can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give, which will help fundraising efforts go even further.

Matthews and Lovingly Artisan are hoping to reach as many home and professional bakers as possible to play their part in supporting some of the 10 million Ukrainian citizens displaced by the Russian invasion. Their aim is to raise £5,000+ through a dedicated British Red Cross – Ukraine Crisis Appeal​fundraising page.

Matthews said all donations will go towards food, water, medical supplies, warm clothes and shelter for those caught in the conflict.

“Please join in and get baking, sell what you produce and donate it to the Red Cross and help us support the people of Ukraine,”​ added Monks.

Wonky bread brings some relief to refugees

Meanwhile, Earth & Wheat – the world’s first ‘wonky bread’ business – has joined the UK’s massive relief movement to help Ukrainian refugees.

The Redditch-based startup has sent nine pallets (700 boxes) to Przemysl in Poland, six miles from the Ukrainian border, with the help of logistics firm Oakland International in co-ordination with the Red Cross.

“Since the conflict started, I’ve been trying to find a way of helping the refugees in any small way that we can by getting our bread boxes to the Polish border and have now managed to do this through Oakland International,”​ said Earth & Wheat’s founder, university student James Eid.

“They told me that some of the trucks that went last week were driven by Ukrainian drivers who became stranded when Russian forces initially invaded. These guys were taken in by Oakland, given food, water, accommodation and the means to contact their families, before being given a full tank of diesel and a trailer load of aid donations to return home with.

“Many of the UK’s food suppliers are coming together to help the relief effort, which will hopefully make a massive difference to those who need it most.”

Eid founded Earth & Wheat to reduce food waste by ‘rescuing’ freshly baked goods created by his family’s business Signature Breads that would typically be rejected due to strict shop standards or because of overproduction. In the 12 months since founding, the business has found a home for 450 tonnes of bread, received 150,000 orders and donated 150,000 meals to charities.

“I set up Earth & Wheat to reduce food waste and help food charities but now it’s about responding to the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine and doing all we can to help these people fleeing this dreadful war,”​ said Eid.

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