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Metro Detroit Restaurants Are Fundraising in Solidarity With Ukraine

Businesses are hosting dinners and bake sales while other local food service operators are vowing to stop selling Russian products

Courtesy of Frame
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

A growing number of Americans are showing solidarity with the people of Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, including local metro Detroit food businesses that are displaying their support through a number of fundraisers.

Among the fundraising efforts, Christine’s Cuisine in Ferndale is donating 100 percent of its sales on Wednesday, March 2, to benefit the Ukrainian Self Reliance Credit Union, reports the Detroit News. The owner of the restaurant, Chrystyna Hryhorczyk, tells the paper that she has relatives in Ukraine. On Wednesday’s menu: pierogi, kapusta, borsch, stuffed cabbage schnitzel, and potato pancakes.

Frame in Hazel Park is also planning to show its support during a Slavic Solidarity dinner taking place Friday,March 25 and Saturday, March 26. Mark Kurlyandchik, editorial director at Frame and the Detroit Free Press’s former restaurant critic, said in a statement posted on the company website that proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s #SupportUkraine Humanitarian Effort, which provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees, children, and front-line defenders.

“As Russia forces itself on Ukraine with a despotic invasion, we at Frame are raising money to support relief efforts for the Ukrainian people with a dinner that celebrates its culture through food,” says the statement. Kurlyandchik also wrote that his paternal grandfather was born in Kremenchuk, a Ukrainian factory town on the banks of the Dnipro River, while his maternal grandmother was born in Smolensk, a Russian city that borders Belarus.

Elsewhere, the vegan Botanical Bakeshop has joined the national Bakers Against Racism movement and will be holding a pop-up bake sale at Hyperion Coffee in Ypsilanti on Sunday, March 6. For $16, supporters get a brunch box filled with a tempeh bacon quiche, a chocolate orange croissant, and chopped salad. And, according to the Freep, Sister Pie in West Village and Tuscan Café in Northville are joining a global community of bakers who are participating in Hamantashen for Ukraine, an initiative that involves selling hamantashen — a triangular, fruit-filled cookie — with all proceeds going to Polish Humanitarian Action.

The local outpouring of help from the restaurant industry follows a wave of similar efforts taking shape across the country. Among many initiatives, the World Central Kitchen, operated by chef José Andrés, is now situated near a border crossing in Poland and feeding thousands of Ukrainians as they flee.

Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Thursday, February 24, it became evident that a humanitarian crisis was on the horizon. So far, more than 660,000 Ukrainians have fled their homes for safety, while others have remained in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, other food service businesses are distancing themselves from Russia’s recent actions. Jim Brady’s in Royal Oak, Marcus Market in Midtown, and Park Liquor in Hazel Park have all vowed to stop selling Russian-made vodka.