A quarter of a million school children in Greece have applied for the food aid program ‘Diatrofi’ (Diet) organized by the Prolepsis Institute.
Athena Linou, the head of the non-governmental organization, said on Monday that half the students enrolled at schools in higher-risk areas face food insecurity, with one in six presenting health problems and one in four experiencing emotional health problems, such as fear, sorrow, anger and worry about the future.
The NGO program is an initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which is also the founding donor.
Applications to join Diatrofi in 2016 were sent by 2,032 schools, or 16 percent of total state schools in Greece, and roughly 250,000 children in the country, Linou told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency. In its fifth year now, the program has delivered a total of more than 11 million meals to some 450 schools and 75,000 students.
Prolepsis presented on Monday the results of a study to coincide with World Food Day on October 16 and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17. The results correspond to the 2014-2015 school year.
The study shows that 53 percent of the children in the program experienced food insecurity and 21 percent experienced hunger. On 64 percent of the families, only one of the parents had an income, while 15 percent of the families had no income whatsoever. Also, 8.5 percent of students had no health insurance and 7 percent had no electricity for a period of more than a week.