A Northern Virginia woman is using food to show her support for Ukraine

Radhika Murari owns Virginia-based artisanal peanut butter company OmMade. (Courtesy Bri Morgan)

A Reston, Virginia, woman is raising thousands of dollars for Ukraine, in the best way she knows how, through food.

“A lot of us are watching in horror and feeling helpless that we can’t help our fellow human beings,” said Radhika Murari, owner of Virginia-based artisanal peanut butter company OmMade.

Murari’s holding a cooking fundraiser on Saturday at her home. Two local Ukrainian sisters will be demonstrating to a crowd of 40 people in person and over 100 over Zoom how to make borscht, the traditional Ukrainian beet soup.

In less than a week, Murari has already raised over $119,000 for World Central Kitchen’s work , feeding Ukrainian refugees. Check out Cook for Ukraine’s team fundraising page for World Central Kitchen.

She said this is a small way of showing Ukrainians that people in the United States care about them.

“Ukrainians who have been following my Facebook posts are saying that they’re telling people back home, ‘You know, we’re thinking about you. We’re doing something about this,'” Murari said. “One person even said that when her father heard how much money had been raised for Ukraine, he started crying on the phone.”

Some 500 people have donated money so far, including two donations of $10,000.

In addition to the cooking demonstration, several Ukrainians who live in the area will be joining to speak about their country, their culture and what their families are going through.

“A lot of people in America do not have a direct connection to Ukraine. And we’re suddenly feeling like we need to know what’s going on there,” Murari said.

Those who are interested in contributing but can’t make the event will be sent a recording of the cooking demonstration.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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