11 September, 2016
With high inflation and food shortages across Russia, some Russians are growing their own vegetables.
The country's struggling economy has kept food prices rising and put millions of people in poverty.
In the former Soviet Union, Russians who lived in traditional country homes – called dachas – often grew their own food.
Today, many Russian families – including some in cities - are again growing food to deal with the hard economic times. Irina Bulozhenko lives and works in Moscow.
"Our grandma has a dacha where she grows lots of things like cabbage and beets. I am cooking borscht right now and I am using our beets and carrots. The onions are ours. So we are saving on what we have grown in the summer. So that's why we don't feel it so badly."
But for some families, growing their own food is still not enough. To help them, Russian volunteers have set up food-sharing programs. The food is donated by restaurants or individuals, and given to those in need.
Tatyana Golubyeva told VOA that receiving food through the program has become important to her family.
"We spend now a lot less on food than before, when we did not know about food-sharing and did not use it. Now we hope that we'll get not only bread, but some other food, as well..."
She noted that the donations have cut the amount her family spends on food in half.
Food-sharing volunteer Svetlana Kalmykova said the program is just getting started. But she believes it can go a long way to help needy people.
"I think that food-sharing has a big future and big prospects in Russia. The main thing is to inform the public about it, so that people learn what it is and what is needed to be done. I think that many will join."
Russians are hoping the country's economy will recover soon, so more food will be available and prices will go down.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
Daniel Schearf reported this story for VOANews. Bryan Lynn adapted his report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
borscht – n. a soup made mainly from beets
prospect – n. the possibility that something good can happen