With virtually no government programs until now to help the poor and people affected by a crushing economic crisis worsened by austerity measures, it’s being left to NGO’s to help, and primarily to the Greek Orthodox Church to operate soup kitchens and food lines.
The Solidarity charity organization has stepped into the void with Archbishop Ieronymos saying that the church will fill a need, especially to help the young and students, some of whom have reportedly fainted in school from hunger.
‘There has been much discussion about the children of our schools, who leave from their house without having eaten many times because their family has financial needs. As a result, these children suffer and cannot follow the courses in school. We all feel that this destitution of children should be covered by us and the care we can offer.”
The Archbishop visited the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports and signed on behalf of Solidarity a cooperation covenant with Minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos which provides for 2,000 packets of food a month to go to families living in poverty.
Solidarity through a specially designed program called Solidarity Supports Students will offer support to the families of the students who have malnourishment problems, protecting their identities. The Ministry of Education will select the primary and secondary education units to be integrated into these actions.
Solidarity is undertaking the responsibility of distributing the food packages to the schools while the distribution of food to the families of the students will be under the responsibility of each elementary and secondary school of the program.