© Angelo Merendino

There’s not really any practical advice in this month’s cover story.

There are no steps for improving your sanitation. There’s no insight from how an industry peer protects their company from food fraud.

Writer Andrea Tolu’s story (“Food Safety During Times of Crisis”), instead, chronicles the steps two organizations are taking to feed vulnerable populations with food that’s prepared as safely as possible under often harrowing circumstances.

“This food is a small gesture, but it’s making a huge difference for these people,” said Food for All Director Peter O’Grady, whose organization prepares hot meals for people in need, including Ukrainian refugees in Poland and those who haven’t left the country in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion.

O’Grady’s Food for All has prepared food all over the country, including in Kharkiv, where he told Tolu that multiple bombs go off every minute while they’re serving food in an underground station.

Feeding people safely, under those circumstances, takes on much more meaning.

In Syria, the World Food Programme is helping the nearly 12 million people there who are acutely food insecure after the country’s civil war, which started in 2011. COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine have only compounded the problem, Reem Alkudsi, WFP national officer in Syria for food safety and quality and food technology, told Tolu.

“Ukraine and Russia were major suppliers of wheat, so the current crisis has disrupted our supply chain,” said Alkudsi.

Food safety during times of crisis is a topic the staff at QA had been hoping to cover before the invasion of Ukraine. Whether it’s a war, natural disaster or global pandemic, it’s hard to predict the next crisis.

That’s part of the message in this issue’s “Short Supply," which does offer advice on how to manage your own ongoing supply chain issues. In it, Tia Glave and Jill Stuber, co-founders of food safety consulting company Catalyst, offer tips ranging from dealing with technology to communication and worker shortages.

The good news, as Managing Editor Jacqueline Mitchell pointed out in “Short Supply,” is that food safety professionals are used to dealing with crisis. It’s part of the job, she wrote.