NEWBURYPORT – More than 40 people attended Jarred and Nadiia Sadowski’s first Ukrainian Tasting Event on April 30, raising at least $4,000 to buy food for residents of her hometown, the Russian-occupied city of Nova Kahovka in southern Ukraine.
“This is truly inspiring, and which is why we are already planning another one. Fingers crossed as we look for a larger venue,” the Sadowskis wrote of the dinner.
The Sadowskis, who live on Plum Island, have been raising money since the Russian invasion in March. They work with local volunteers in Ukraine to feed about 2,000 residents every week.
“Without your support, we would not feel so empowered to keep raising money to help people in Ukraine,” the couple wrote.
The dinner, which Nadiia cooked, was of authentic Ukrainian dishes that consisted of stuffed crepes with mushrooms and chicken, potato and liver, pickled cabbage and stuffed cabbage rolls and bell peppers. To wash it down the Sadowskis served Compote, a traditional fruit drink with apples, pears, plums, cherries, dried mulberries, prunes, dried apricots, raisins, sugar and honey.
The dinner was a Sadowksi family affair with Wendy Buda, Jarred’s sister, helping serve the food. His brother Bryan and sister in law Carolina helped chop and slice. And his mother, Sandi Sadowski, who run the Port Sheet Metal after his father retired, was also helping prepare the meal.
In Ukraine, the Russian military continues to stop their volunteers while they are making deliveries, they wrote. They check their phones and search the cars.
Cellular service is getting worse, “We are seeing cellular services drop for sometimes (for) days at a time with only land-based cable operational in the outlying villages,” they wrote.
The Russians are also rerouting cable-based internet traffic through Russian internet provides to monitor the traffic. “This means our volunteers have to either wait for cellular services to come back up or make sure the communication is encrypted,” they wrote.
Last week Russia stopped allowing residents to flee or enter Nova Kahovka. Their drivers who have been helping people escape are not able to get back into the city.
“We have been continuing to provision our bomb shelter and have supplied most items needed to sustain over 100 people for 40 days,” the couple wrote. “We are also actively searching for more locations to start provisioning.”
To donate, visit firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want an authentic Ukrainian meal, visit novakahovka.life/menu/ and order six varenyky (dumplings) for $15.
Nadiia is also making Ukrainian flower crowns to sell on Etsy as well as at their next Tasting Event. The “vinok” (wreath or crown) has been worn for centuries by girls and young women to symbolize purity and fertility.
Proceeds will go to helping people in need in Ukraine.