Goya steps up again, helps Ukraine with donated food and requested rosaries
Remember Bob Unanue, the rather brave and non-wokester CEO of Goya Foods?
If it's slipped your mind, Unanue was the one who gently praised President Trump in 2020 and took hell from the left for it. But unlike a lot of them, he refused to back down. After that, he laughed all the way to the bank as leftists threatened a boycott of his company's products — and Goya's sales increased instead. He'd been targeted for boycotts before, as I wrote here — and defied those, too.
He's doing something else of immeasurable value now: he's helping the Ukrainians with food, and rosaries, the latter of which had been requested by the Ukrainian monks. He's sending it all in, using ex-Green Berets to make the deliveries. His description of what he did, in an interview with Fox News, can be seen at this link here. (It's not up on YouTube yet).
That Ukraine needs food is indisputable. The city of Kyiv seems to be OK for food stocks, albeit with war-inflation prices, but many smaller and more embattled places in Ukraine have been cut off. Mariupol, the most embattled of all the Ukrainian cities at this point, is said to have no food at all. Goya is bringing in 150,000 pounds of food to the Ukrainians to keep them fed for a little longer, which has to be a tremendous blessing for them. It is hoped that Goya will send in more if they need more, but this contribution is a standout for those who really need it.
Goya is also sending in 15,000 rosaries, and the Fox tape does show a huge pile of them.
Unanue said he collected about 1,000 of them from his parish church, and apparently, the rest were donated as well, probably from his Latino community connections. Unanue said he got the request from the Ukrainian monks, which would be reason enough to send them as a comfort to those people, but there's a backstory that makes the whole thing especially interesting. Apparently, Unanue, being culturally cognizant of the Latino culture and quite likely other ones through the common thread of Catholicism, had to have known it.
Ukraine, especially western Ukraine, is about as Catholic as Poland is, to start. (Some of it actually is Poland, or had been Poland in previous border incarnations. Eastern Ukraine has more Orthodox Christians. Ukraine also has a large Jewish population and actually some Muslims — think Cossacks, Tatars, Cherkassians. The western part, which is the most resistant to Russia and the USSR, has always been mostly Catholic.)
Now, I don't want to get too deeply into Church mysticism for a general audience, which may not be Catholic, but here's a toddler's version of what's going on with that: based on the 1917 revelations from the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima in Portugal, which has been accepted by the Church as authentic, there was a special request from Our Lady to observe the "Five First Saturdays" devotion — which includes praying the rosary — for the conversion of Russia and to prevent Russia from "spreading its errors throughout the world," which, the apparition warned, could lead to entire nations being "erased from the earth." Given what Ukraine is going through now, that amounts to a pretty strong command to say the rosary, which, Catholics believe, is the most powerful of all prayers. That has to be what the Ukrainians now fighting the invading Russians are thinking, and Unanue understood it enough to respond to it. Based on what Unanue said, apparently, even the non-religious in Ukraine are interested in saying the rosary at this point.
So the rosaries would have to bring significant comfort to the Ukrainians, just as the food deliveries serve as a great relief. As AT contributor Ethel Fenig noted at the end of this piece here, Goya's food is certified kosher, which has got to be helpful in a multi-religious country with a large Jewish population — and it shows again how culturally savvy Unanue's company is.
It's a wonderful thing that Goya has done for these people, using their Spain-based European operation to speed the supplies into beleaguered, starved-out Ukraine. It's one more reason to buy Goya products with confidence, given the generosity seen to the embattled people of Ukraine.
Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of images by Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 and Fox News YouTube video screen shot, processed with FotoSketcher.