A vegan restaurant in Lviv, Ukraine, has remained open and feeds hundreds of refugees hot vegan meals every day. The restaurant, Vega Room, is owned by Vitaly, a 26-year-old who never thought this would be his reality.

They have been busier than ever since Russia invaded Ukraine and will often feed 200 people every day whereas, before the invasion, they would serve around 40. They offer a simple and nutritious meal for the brave people still in the city.

“It’s just regular soups, or we’ll do some cereals like buckwheat, rice, and some meat substitution; we just use tofu, falafel, which are very useful, actually. And people are very satisfied with them,” Vitaly told The Independent.

However, the global food supply has been at risk, and people still in Ukraine are having difficulty getting deliveries into the war-struck country. Vitaly has struggled to find many products like tofu and meat substitutions for his huge customer base now.

Besides the change in the number of customers, they are also not required to pay for the food. The Vega Room is working with Vegan Ukraine, a charity working in Lviv and other cities in Ukraine. The charity reached out to Vitaly and wanted to turn the restaurant into a kitchen for refugees. Now, the kitchen has fed countless refugees and victims of war.

Vitaly was shocked, along with many others, when Russia invaded the country. It was something they had heard was going to happen but never could have imagined how much their lives were about to change.

The UN reported that 1.85 million people have fled Ukraine, although many have stayed within the country but fled to bigger cities. Many fleeing the war have been seeking refuge in Lviv, and the Vega Room has been a safe place for many to get a warm and nutritious meal. Vitaly has met so many people and hopes that when the war ends, he will be able to reopen the restaurant fully and welcome new and old customers.

If you are able to help the Vega Room refugee kitchen, you can find information about how to donate here. Sign this petition to stand with Ukraine!

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