The correspondent in Athens for the British newspaper Guardian, Helena Smith, wrote an extended article on the Greek food crisis. Frontline Charities report that up to 90% of families in the poorest neighborhoods rely on food banks and soup kitchens.
In crisis-stricken Greece, record unemployment, hunger and undernourishment are part of the country’s economic breakdown.
For the growing number of people depending on soup kitchens, who will now be without outside support, August has turned into the toughest month.
With its dedicated staff and can-do spirit, the Solidarity Club at Veikou Street, is similar to many other groups established by concerned citizens appalled by the austerity imposed measures.
Panaghiota Mourtidou, 54, the organization’s co-founder, stated, “I had no idea and was shocked to learn that people in this neighborhood, on these streets, in all the buildings that I pass every day, were suffering so.”
The articles also highlights that the Greek Orthodox church alone feeds an estimated 55,000 people a day while municipal authorities distribute another 7,000 meals at soup kitchens around Athens.
According to a UNICEF report this year, it was estimated that nearly 600,000 children lived under poverty line in Greece, and more than half that number lacked basic daily nutritional needs.
Moreover, according to Xenia Papastavrou, who runs the country’s pre-eminent food rescue organization Boroume, “Social services in municipalities can’t keep up recording the sheer numbers of those in need…Everywhere we go it’s the same story, which is why we need all the help we can get.”