ISSUE: 4/2023

  • Volume 27
  • Number 4
  • 2023


Studia Europejskie –
Studies in European Affairs

ISSN: 1428-149X
e-ISSN: 2719-3780

Ccbync License


Articles published in the journal are under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International License

Food Solidarity Battles: The Case of Poland After the Russian Aggression on Ukraine


The unprovoked Russian invasion on Ukraine on 24th February 2022 awakened in Poland a tremendous amount of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including that of food solidarity. Food aid organised by the Polish government was preceded by initiatives of private citizens and NGOs to supply Ukrainian refugees – those gathered at the border and entering Poland – with ready-to-eat food, with more spontaneous food aid continuing after they arrived. It was only somewhat later that these grassroots efforts became coordinated by local governments and state bodies.
Direct help was accompanied by two other, bottom-up initiatives, the first of which being attempts to boycott Russian food products, as well as companies and retail chains which continued doing business in Russia post-invasion, and the second being a symbolic renaming of some food products and dishes that indicated Russian origins or influences.
This work aims to analyse food aid organised for Ukrainian refugees and people remaining in Ukraine as conducted by various entities in Poland. It stresses the significance of the activism of private citizens and small groups while also presenting the social and cultural implications of the symbolic de-russification of popular foods and dishes in Poland. While discussing Polish food solidarity with Ukrainians, it is important to consider that, one year after Putin’s invasion, about 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees (of which over 87% are women and children) might be staying in Poland long-term (Sieradzka, 2023; Zharova, 2023). The initial impetus for solidarity is, however, wearing off; the new context also includes so-called “solidarity lanes” established by the European Union to transit agricultural products, which have unintentionally put Polish farmers in a difficult position. As food solidarity with Ukraine might be subsiding in Poland, its popularity throughout most of 2022 contributed to a better understanding of relief work in the work zones and augmented the integration of Ukrainian refugees within Polish society.


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Language: English

Pages: 153-171

How to Cite:


Jastrzębiec-Witowska, A. (2023) "Food Solidarity Battles: The Case of Poland After the Russian Aggression on Ukraine". Studia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs, 4/2023, pp. 153-171. DOI: 10.33067/SE.4.2023.9