Philadelphia restaurant owners volunteer in Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

The UN Refugee Agency estimates nearly 4 million people may flee Ukraine.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A group of Philadelphia restaurant owners traveled to Poland to help feed Ukrainian refugees in an effort to help.

Reflecting on their experience so far, they said the devastation is immeasurable.

"Imagine if you had 24 hours and were told you could take one bag and your family and you have to leave where you lived your whole life, and you don't know where you're going?" asked John Carne, owner of The Dutch restaurant in South Philadelphia. "That's pretty much what these people are dealing with."

Carne and Olga Sorzano are part of a group of restaurant owners in Philadelphia who are volunteering in Poland.

Working with the organization World Central Kitchen, they are preparing and serving meals to thousands of refugees.

"I was born in Russia," said Sorzano, owner of Baba Brew in Phoenixville. "To me, I never ever in my life have felt this feeling of despair, anger, sadness and also in some way, some sort of guilt."

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The UN Refugee Agency estimates nearly 4 million people may flee Ukraine.

Action News spoke with Carne last weekend before he left for the trip.

He said there is nothing that could have prepared him for the amount of despair he would witness up close.

"When we were in Medyka at the border, people are walking there," said Carne. "I mean, it's not like they're dropped off by a train or a bus. Some people are walking for days. We ran into a family that hadn't had a meal in 10 days. They were eating pieces of bread throughout their travels, so I mean, this thing is no joke."

Carne and Sorzano said the best way to help is to donate money to World Central Kitchen to help continue to feed the refugees.

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