Kyria Katina from Tinos island has become a household name volunteering to cook over 120 dishes each week for those in need around the island. Her mission in life is to ensure that no one in Greece is ever left hungry.
A seamstress by profession, Kyria Katina arrived on Tinos island in June of 2013 to pray at the Monastery of Panagia Tinos and to receive a blessing at the Holy site, known to heal those suffering from physical and emotional ailments.
Kyria Katina became so connected with the local community who helped her through her illness by supporting and cooking for her every day that she decided to make Tinos her home.
Neighbours and friends on the island gave Kyria Katina food every day, so much so that she didn’t know what to do with it.
That is when she began finding out who else on the island was in need of food and made sure it was sent to them. When Kyria Katina felt better she also started cooking and that is how the idea of Tinos Community Kitchen came about.
Along with the help of other locals, who Kyria Katina refers to as her “angels”, the Tinos Community Kitchen was established and has now become a huge help for many people unable to afford food on Tinos and other islands nearby.
Today there are people who help and support her work, however, Tinos Community Kitchen is not subsidized, its operation depends exclusively on the support of individual volunteers and local businesses.
Locals provide Kyria Katina with fresh fish, eggs, milk, meat and other ingredients which she uses to make gemista (stuffed vegetables), beans, lentils, and many other dishes, which are then distributed to those in need on the island and surrounding areas.
The teachers from local schools inform Kyria Katina of which families are most in need and she also knows their dietary requirements, to ensure she cooks food that is suitable for each family.