Recent polls have shown that 62 percent of elderly people in Greece don’t have the financial means to feed themselves properly, while 65 percent say they are starving and 32 percent report having made cuts in portion sizes.
According to the food distribution program, Every day beside them, run by the Greek NGO, Life Line, more and more elderly people are unable to meet their daily dietary needs.
The program which has run for two years now, along with data provided by Life Line, indicate that the majority of the elderly are showing signs of food insecurity and malnutrition, which directly affects both their psychological and physical health.
Specifically, 56 percent of those taking part in the program report food insecurity and severe hunger, while 27 percent are resorting to cheaper foods which are affecting their health. In addition, 17 percent of participants report depression and panic attacks.
Furthermore, Life Line reports that elderly people make hundreds of phone calls to Social Services, “literally begging for some food or milk in their effort to alleviate the uncertainty and fear that comes with old age.” For these reasons, Life Line argues that the food program needs to continue.
The program was implemented with the assistance and support of the Public Benefit Foundation, John S. Latsis, within a larger social solidarity program called, It is our duty, which was implemented in response to the extreme situation caused by the Greek economic crisis.