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Goya Foods Returns To Ukraine, Extends Partnerships To Aid Refugees

From left to right: Michael Capponi, founder of Global Empowerment Mission; Sister Theresa de la Fuente, Sisters of Our Lady of Divine Mercy; Bob Unanue, president and CEO of Goya Foods; Syzmon Czyszek, director for international growth in Europe of Knights of Columbus; and James Zumwalt, U.S. Navy veteran and Aerial Recovery Deployment team leader.

Jersey City, New Jersey-based Goya Foods and Bob Unanue, president and CEO, have returned to Poland and Ukraine with a message of peace to end the war in order to avert famine and a global food crisis.

Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of agri-foods and this is a critical planting season. Many of Ukraine’s farmers have become soldiers. If we don’t end this war now, farmers will not be able to plant and export the necessary resources the world needs to survive.  We will inevitably enter into a global food shortage,” Unanue said at a press conference May 12 held at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, Poland.

With the guidance of the Knights of Columbus, who assisted the Archdiocese of Częstochowa to create a home for 100 orphans, Goya’s second humanitarian turned spiritual mission to Poland and Ukraine answers the recent call for prayer by Pope Francis.

“Knights of Columbus live out the founding mission of Blessed Father Michael McGivney to help the vulnerable, especially the widows and orphans,” said Szymon Czyszek, the Knights’ director of international growth for Europe. “We see that today the vulnerable are the Ukrainian families, women and children, and we as Knights cannot be indifferent to their suffering.”

Through Goya Cares, this mission continues Goya’s commitment to caring for women and children and extends to funding organizations including the Aerial Recovery Group, the Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, who through their original apostolate of running “Mercy Houses” provide a safe haven for women and girls in danger of or in situations of exploitation.

“As long as Putin’s war rages on in Ukraine and wherever evil manifests, we will be there to protect God’s most innocent. What I have learned in my five deployments as a U.S. Army Green Beret is that war steals innocence. We must protect the most innocent. These children deserve safety and to feel the love of the Lord,” said Jeremy Locke, chief of operations of Aerial Recovery Group.

While this war comes with high demand for food and supplies, Goya also returns with 1,000 rosaries blessed by Pope Francis and more than 60,000 rosaries donated by Americans, a donation that started with the offer of one rosary from Shannon Hasse of San Antonio, Texas, and has turned into more than thousands of rosaries.

As part of Goya’s mission, it has donated one million pounds of food to Global Empowerment Mission.

“Goya is GEM’s main food partner. We have been working together on a multitude of global and U.S. disasters. Goya products are also inside each one of our GEM B’strong Family Necessities Kits. This is one of our most precious and important partnerships. They care and they are always ready to support the causes that arise,” said Michael Capponi, president of Global Empowerment Mission.

Goya Cares is a global initiative dedicated to combating child trafficking and nourishing the soul by supporting organizations that protect the lives of women and children. Through Goya Gives, Goya has donated over seven million pounds of food over the past few years in response to the pandemic, natural disasters and humanitarian crises.   

To learn more about Goya, visit goya.com.

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