The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia has renewed its support for Boroume Farmers' Market Program, enabling the dynamic food saving program to continue helping people in need.
With the $71,000 grant renewal to the Farmers Market Program for 2020-21, THI Australia has committed a total of $249,000 to support the operation of the Farmers’ Market Program since 2017.
“The Hellenic Initiative Australia is proud to have partnered with Boroume for the past three years to support the expansion of the Farmers Market Program,” said THI Australia President, Nicholas Pappas AM.
The Farmers Market Program supports more than 32 charities in Athens and Thessaloniki, providing fresh food for church and municipal soup kitchens, refugee shelters, hospices for people with disabilities and other welfare organisations.
At the Athens soup kitchen run by the Parish of St Sophia in Neo Psychiko, an average of 150 people per day receive meals produced from the food collected from the local farmers market, as well as fresh produce for families to cook at home.
With the support of THI Australia over the past three years, Boroume has collected and donated more than 379,000 kg of fresh produce from weekly neighbourhood farmers markets in Athens and Thessaloniki – equating to more than 1.5 million food portions.
“Despite the COVID-19 disruption of the past few months, the farmers markets have continued to generously donate food to help people in need," Mr Pappas added.
"We remain deeply concerned about the impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable in Greek society and are pleased to be assisting charities to support people with their basic nutritional needs through the Farmers Market Program," Mr Pappas continued.
Boroume operates at 21 markets in Athens and six in Thessaloniki, with more markets expected to come on board over the next 12 months.
“As well as providing tonnes of fresh food to the needy every year, the Farmers’ Market Program connects and inspires communities to support each other. The farmers help local charities and welfare organisations to support the most vulnerable, the program attracts local and international volunteers and everyone plays a role in reducing food waste," Mr Pappas added.
Boroume founding member, Alexander Theodoridis, welcomed the continued support from THI Australia for the Farmers’ Market Program.
With the economic impact of COVID-19 taking its toll on families, Mr Theodoridis said charities were expected to continue facing challenges over the coming months, as many were supporting the most vulnerable.
“There has already been an upward trend in the number of people approaching welfare organisations for help but we expect this to increase significantly from September, given the expected fallout from the substantial decrease in tourism this summer,” Mr Theodoridis said.
‘The situation hasn’t improved just because we have ended the general lockdown. We are trying to find ways in the current operating environment to be able to continue to support them because the need is great.”
Since it was founded in 2012, Boroume has saved and donated more than 36 million portions of food through a range of innovative food saving programs.