Need help pushing info to useRef

Ive got some advice to useRef to stop continuous api calls triggered by typing in my textarea, but the problem is now that i dont understand useRef that much and dont know how to push the data i typed to the ref. I was using event.target.value for the handleChange function and was wondering if i had to do the same here

code: https://codesandbox.io/s/unruffled-moser-ldiw9?file=/src/components/ConvertPlaces.js