How #CookForUkraine Actually Works

The hashtag #CookForUkraine has gained massive traction on Instagram since Putin invaded Ukraine a few weeks ago. The fast-growing initiative is raising money for UNICEF UK's Ukraine Appeal, which will go toward supporting the thousands of displaced families and children who are impacted by the war (via JustGiving).

The global movement was started by Ukrainian chef and food writer Olia Hercules and Russian cookbook author Dr. Alissa Timoshkina. According to, the London-based friends joined forces with the team behind #CookForSyria — the charity culinary movement that raised more than £1 million for Syrian children in 2016 — to increase awareness and emergency funds for the current humanitarian crisis while celebrating the interconnectedness of Russian and Ukrainian culture and cuisine.

Not only has the fundraiser already collected more than $150,000, per Food52, but it's reached and united people from various corners of the globe, including top chefs, food writers, restaurant owners, home cooks, and foodies.

Here's how you can personally help

If you'd like to help raise proceeds for #CookForUkraine, there are multiple ways to get involved. One way is to host your own fundraising supper club or bake sale and simply point all donations directly to the fundraiser's Just Giving page. You can also share photos and stories of Ukrainian and Eastern European-inspired recipes on social media alongside the hashtag #CookForUkraine — while showcasing your own cooking creations.

Per the Evening Standard, if you're an owner of a restaurant, café, hotel, or bar, you can also include a small voluntary donation (of £1, £2, or £5) to the bill throughout the month of March. To participate, businesses should email the campaign at Lastly, a quick and easy way to participate is to make a donation online. 

The campaign is a heartwarming example of how social media can be a powerful way to drive impactful change when harnessed for good. Follow #CookForUkraine on Instagram and keep an eye on their Just Giving page for more information on upcoming pop-up events, fundraisers, supper clubs, and more.