A bakery in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been feeding more than 4000 people a day free, using donations from places such as Whanganui's SourBros Bakery & Coffee Bar.
On March 4, the warehouse at Kyiv's Bakehouse was hit by an explosion in the war with Russia. The bakery moved to safer premises. Its female staff have left and many of the males are now away fighting.
Those who remain are feeding 4000 to 5000 people a day, plus the military and hospitals, its Facebook page says. They are doing it free, funded by donations.
Bakehouse would have run out of money to feed the community if a friend at Proof Bread in Arizona had not started a fundraising effort. SourBros co-owners John Wilson and Matt Ellingham heard about it and joined in.
For two weeks they have been making Easter buns with peace symbols instead of crosses on top. For every bun sold, 50c goes to Bakehouse in Kyiv.
Most days the buns have sold out within two hours of leaving the oven, Wilson said.
The recipe is a special one, using the Japanese tangzhong method. Water and flour are made into a roux sauce first, then added to the sourdough and yeast dough.
The precooked starch gel added softness and moisture to the buns, Wilson said. It did away with the need to add milk and butter, which meant the buns were suitable for vegans.
There was also oil in the recipe and that, combined with the roux mixture, kept the buns soft and moist for two to three days. Buns enriched by dairy products tended to get dry in a day or two, Wilson said.
The buns come in the traditional fruit and spice flavour. But Wilson's personal favourite is the cranberry and dark chocolate version.
Last time SourBros made Easter buns, they piped a range of symbols on top to make a point of difference.
They tried koru, stars, the peace symbol and the yin and yang symbol, "which was completely inefficient to pipe", Wilson said.
The peace symbol is easier to pipe. It started as the symbol for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s, and is now accepted worldwide as representing peace.