Nutrition and supplement retailer The Vitamin Shoppe worked with nonprofit Baranova27 to donate more than 4,600 pounds of protein bars and nutritious snacks to areas of Ukraine that have been impacted by the ongoing conflict with Russia. The Vitamin Shoppe’s freight and logistics partner Transplace donated transportation services to ship the products from the retailer’s distribution centers in Virginia and Arizona to Baranova27’s headquarters in Fort Lee, N.J., where the goods were prepared for shipment to Ukraine.
“Our teams at The Vitamin Shoppe are honored to be able to contribute to the refugees, frontline heroes and extraordinary citizens of Ukraine in the way we know best — with nutritional support that we hope will give a boost to the everyday health and energy of the courageous people there,” said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe in a statement. “Just as importantly, we are proud to help shine a light on the incredible work of Baranova27 in mobilizing much-needed humanitarian aid and supplies and getting it directly into the hands of those in need in Ukraine.”
Baranova27 was founded by former Ukrainian residents Aleksandr Chmerkovskiy and his sons, Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, who are champions of the reality competition series Dancing with the Stars, as a response to the war in their former home country. Since the onset of the war, Baranova27 has organized the donation of more than 280,000 pounds of supplies, including first aid, non-perishable food, clothing, front line equipment, hygiene goods and childcare products to relief efforts in Ukraine and Poland. The Chmerkovskiys emigrated to the U.S. from Odessa, Ukraine, in the 1990s and the charity is named for the family’s former street address in the city — Baranova 27.
“I want to thank The Vitamin Shoppe and all the caring teams there that came together to make this meaningful and useful donation to the people of Ukraine,” said Aleksandr Chmerkovskiy in a statement. “Nutritious, easily shared food and snack items are highly appreciated donations in Ukraine. With my work at Baranova27, I’ve tried to turn my pain about the war into a purpose. The contributions of companies like The Vitamin Shoppe reminds me that so much of the world is united in supporting the people of Ukraine and working towards peace.”