Houston chef, Underbelly Hospitality coordinator shares stories from trip to help feed refugees in Poland

A local chef and coordinator for Underbelly Hospitality was on the ground in Poland helping to cook and serve food for refugees fleeing Ukraine.

She shared photos, videos, and stories about what it was like as thousands of Ukraine refugees crossed the border. 

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Nina Quincy oversees all the restaurants belonging to Houston chef Chris Shepard. Two weeks ago, she flew to Poland to assist in preparing and serving food to Ukrainian refugees. 

"I went to the border, and it was crushing," said Quincy. 

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Quincy says what we see on TV and online is nothing compared to what it’s like being on the ground and seeing it firsthand.  

"The humanity is not the same when you’re watching it on a screen as it is when you see it in person; and when I say it’s just hordes of people, it’s just this never-ending women and children and elderly and disabled," said Quincy.  

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The mission was organized by World Central Kitchen, they provide food for people in crisis all over the globe. They’re currently operating around the clock in several locations in both Poland and in Ukraine. 

"They set up a big kitchen, huge warehouse, and there were three main things we were taking care of out of that kitchen; we would do one hot dish whether it was a soup or what have you, we did hot chocolate every day, and then we would make baby food," Quincy explained. 

Quincy stayed in Poland for one week during that time she served food to at least 2,500 refugees per day. 

"If we did a thing of stew that would feed probably 1,500 people and then per day we were doing at least two of those," Quincy said. 

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She’s now back home in Houston, but she says she can’t stop thinking about the people she met and those she left behind. 

"They’re cold, some didn’t have gloves, so they would hold the hot chocolate. I offered hot chocolate to this lady, and she took it handed it off, and she gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and I couldn’t understand what she was saying. But I could tell she was thanking me. It was one of the best things I ever experienced and one of the worst, it was so sad," Quincy said. 

World Central kitchen still has teams on the ground, click here for more information on how you can assist them in their efforts to support refugees.