Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can't Buy Food, Greek Citizens Attack Public Kitchens




It was midday before lunch time. Bowls of pasta are being cooked to feed more than 100 children. This is not a sight at school but a facility managed by the Athens regional government to provide food for those who cannot afford it.
The public kitchen in Athens, which is usually intended for illegal immigrants and homeless people, is now being visited by the general public. More and more citizens of the city come here, especially retirees and families with children.
This place is managed by George Apostolopolos and a group of volunteers. Even though the money from the city government is far enough, but he is not sure when the public kitchen can continue.
"We are worried about the future because we do not know what happened tomorrow. This is our biggest problem. The future is not clear but we try our best," said Apostolopolos.
Previously, when a television camera had not yet appeared, the courtyard of the place was full of adults of various ages who were lining up for food. The manager does not allow television crews to take pictures. Many people don't want their families to know where they are in the soup kitchen.
But two public kitchen customers are willing to talk about their situation. Christos said that his life went well until a few years ago. He lost his parents and then suffered a serious car collision. He consumes drugs to reduce pain due to injury and lose his job.
"I am 48 years old, but I only remember 44 years in my life, maybe 43," he said. "Now is the hardest situation I've ever seen in Greece."
His friend, Maria, said that he used to run a clothing store, but was fired when the crisis hit.
"After that, I lost my house because every month I had to pay 450 euros," he said. "So 20 days from now I will become homeless and now I eat here every day at 12 noon and 5 pm."
Unfortunately, the availability of such facilities seems insufficient. Hundreds of Greeks line up at Central Athens park to get free vegetables this week. Farmers from Crete distributed 27 tons of eggplant, pepper, tomatoes and other garden produce, with the help of the local government.
"We will not overcome the problem of food, but we started solidarity, showing typical Greek solidarity, that in times like this the Greeks were united," said Nikos Saprovalakis, executive of a food company that helped the activity.
Spiros Kalamantis is in line to get a food aid package.
"Because I haven't worked for several years, I think I'll take one box of food," he said. "Only because I don't have a job. That's all."
IWD/The Truth Seeker Media

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