CWU News

CWU Faculty and Staff to Host #CookForUKRAINE Fundraisers for Affected Children and Families

#CookForUkraine website with food on a plate

Launched by London-based chefs and authors Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina, #CookForUKRAINE is an effort to increase awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, bring the public’s attention to the vitality of the Ukrainian culture through its cuisine, and raise funds for those in need. 

#CookForUKRAINE fundraisers are popping up across the globe. Food industry professionals are finding creative ways to raise funds: from hamantaschen sales and piroshki pop-ups, to virtual dumpling-making classes and borscht-making contests. As co-founder of the fundraiser, Hercules explains, “Cooking together, whether in person or virtually, is about unity and connection. It not only nourishes the body, but also makes us more compassionate.”

A group of individuals from various departments at Central Washington University (CWU Dining/1891 Catering, World Languages and Culture, and the Office of the Provost) have come together to host a variety of #CookForUKRAINE fundraisers. All proceeds will be donated directly to UNICEF to support Ukrainian children and their families affected by the current crisis. 

Michael Johnson, professor in the Department of World Languages and Culture, helped make the decision to spearhead this effort.

“I was looking for a way to support Ukrainian victims of the Russian invasion and was inspired by the labor of love cooks and bakers across the world put in to raising funds for #CookForUKRAINE," Johnson said. "It gives us more than just a template for raising funds; it also gives us a way to keep our attention on Ukraine through exploration and celebration of Ukrainian culture, a way to show our solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are facing unspeakable suffering right now.”

The first of the fundraisers will involve two traditional Ukrainian dishes: dumplings and borscht.  Homemade dumplings and borscht will be made using Provost Michelle DenBeste’s personal recipe and will then be offered for purchase. Pre-order is available now through March 25. Pick up/delivery (on-campus delivery only) will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 31.

To order dumplings and/or borscht, please use the online order form. If you are interested in volunteering to help prepare the food or help with pick-up and delivery of the orders, sign up here

In early April, a limited seating pop-up dinner will be hosted focused on Ukrainian cuisine. Stay tuned for more details on the dinner and how to purchase tickets. There will also be a call for volunteers to help with this event. 

Additional #CookForUKRAINE event details will be provided as they are available, including panel discussions related to the cultural politics of food in Ukraine, Ukrainian-focused wine tastings, and more pop-up dining events. 

For more information on #CookForUKRAINE, or to donate directly to the cause, please visit the official #CookForUKRAINE website

If you have questions or would like more information about our upcoming #CookForUkraine efforts, please email Della Gonzales at