Healthy Food Program for Hungry Pupils in Greece



1834162-thumb-largeA 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.

The NGO study noted that children who are hungry show higher rates of absenteeism and dropping out of school, while children from families with food insecurity have an 18 percent rate for frequent absenteeism due to ill health, compared to 8 percent of families with food security. They also show greater difficulty in coping with school work and following lessons, with a long-term impact on their future and that of the country as a whole.
Linou told AMNA that the program helped reduce the food insecurity index by 10 percent in the school year 2014-2015, that the number of children experiencing hunger was reduced by 20 percent and 33 percent of students attained a normal weight, while 38 percent showed improvement in physical health and 42 percent in emotional health.
According to the report, the Diatrofi program will run until January 2016. It is starting this week in schools in Thessaloniki, Imathia and Thrace, while the funds collected so far are enough to cover roughly 100 schools with 7,500 students.
The main objective of Diatrofi is the reduction of food insecurity on a day-to-day basis for students who attend public schools in remote and rural areas. All participating students were provided on a daily basis with one free, healthy meal while simultaneously receiving information on matters of health, nutrition and proper dietary habits.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Food insecurity in Greek countryside is impossible. In city sadly possibly, but in countryside their are some lies here. I’m not saying that they eat well, but they have enough food.

  2. Why is a healthy food program necessary when all that needs to be done is declare the kiddies “migrants” and they will receive all the subsidized food, housing and healthcare they need. The best part much of the subsidy comes from outside of Greece. For that matter everything that is subsidized in Greece these daze is financed from outside the country.

  3. The immigrants are getting help for limited time, before they get to work in jobs Europeans don’t want. Doing so, they will pay for our retirement.
    In any case, I think we can both agree on the fact that money come into Greek economy from abroad is good thing.

  4. John it is the strings that are attached to the money coming from outside that is always the problem and never the solution.

  5. Having sting attached is normal in order to better Greece and make it more Western. Or would you prefer Greece to be like Serbia (alone an underdeveloped)?