Chips bakers Franky van Hintum from Helmond and Coen van Oosten from Waspik will take their french fries cart to the border between Poland and Ukraine. They want to bake free fries, frikandells, croquettes and other snacks for Ukrainian refugees.
The telephone of the french fries bakers is ringing off the hook. Also this Monday morning they are continuously talking to each other to arrange more frying fat, snacks and sponsorship for their ‘golden-yellow mission’. And sometimes the help is very small. “Yesterday, a little child came and brought us fifty cents to help. That just gives you goose bumps”, Coen says with twinkling eyes. The war in Ukraine affects Franky personally. His Ukrainian wife’s family is still in Kiev. “They are in hiding and cannot leave. At first they did not want to leave, but now it is too late. It is very intense, especially for my wife. I feel a bit guilty that we haven’t been able to get them out of there”. And so he wants to do something good. “Now I can help others. You just want to take action.”
The situation of refugees is distressing, Frank knows. “They are people who are often twenty hours on the road and have very little with them. These people are really hungry”, he describes. “We have been in contact with a town on the border. They thought this was a good idea. At first we wanted to collect supplies, but this helps the people there better.”
The chip shop owners both have their own business, but are joining forces for the campaign. They are taking a bus with them and a mobile chip frying cart. Franky: “We are also bringing tents and patio heaters so people can sit comfortably warm. It is more than just a snack and away. We really try to make them feel good.”
Next Thursday morning, Franky and Coen will leave for the town of Przemysl. “It’s a good twenty hour drive with the chip cart”. They are going for at least four days, but want to stay as long as they have supplies. Coen: “We hope that we will receive more donations of snacks, chips, sweets and other items”. They also hope that the campaign will be taken over by other chip bakers. “At some point we also have to go back to our lives. It would be nice if someone takes over then”.
Translated by: Bob