The Hellenic Initiative announces $50,000 grant to fight hunger in Athens

The Hellenic Initiative announces $50,000 grant to fight hunger in Athens

The Hellenic Initiative announces $50,000 grant to fight hunger in Athens

The Hellenic Initiative (THI) has announced a $50,000 grant to be given to the Athens Food Bank, to support the organisation’s Emergency Food Fund.

Athens Food Bank, a member of the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) since 1995, helped many needy families during Greece’s 10-year crisis.

Last year, the long-awaited economic recovery arrived but was cut short by COVID-19, making Food Bank’s battle against food insecurity more important than ever.

“The Food Bank illustrates the reality that the effects of the Greek economic crisis will linger in the form of a weakened ability to confront new challenges. Thankfully, THI is able to work with groups like Food Bank that are able to immediately help people in need," said Maria Allwin, THI Board Member.

In 2020 alone, the Food Bank distributed 1,850 tons of food to approximately 43,000 people through 150 Athens-area local charities.

The nonprofit receives donations from food production and trading companies at its modern warehouse and the food is donated to institutions it has partnered with for a long time, like nursing homes and orphanages, and soup kitchens run by churches and other groups.

Dimitrios Nentas, an employee since 2012, demonstrates the value of energetic and resourceful people in the philanthropy sector. Finding only part time work in his field of electrical engineering during the economic crisis, an opportunity to work at Food Bank quickly revealed his transferable skills – and his love for its mission. He was delighted to use his management ability to implement the best practices he learned from FEBA in pursuit of ever more efficient ways to obtain and distribute food.

“Our message to the Hellenic Diaspora,” Dimitrios said, “is that we are happy and feel fortunate to see that Greeks, even those so far away, think about us and support us. It is very important for us to see, in a very practical way, that we are not alone.”

A sophisticated tracking system which connects with the FEBA database ensures efficiency that is vital because of the short shelf life of much of the goods.

The funds THI raised during its first ever virtual Gala are already supporting the ones who need it the most. COVID-19 continues to ravage communities in Greece, creating for many food insecurity. This THI gift will allow the Food Bank to purchase food items that are rarely donated but remain very important for a healthy and nutritional diet," said Michael Printzos, THI’s Program Director.

The Hellenic Initiative

Founded in 2012, THI is a global, nonprofit, secular institution mobilising the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to support sustainable economic recovery and renewal for the Greek people. THI’s programs address crisis relief through strong nonprofit organisations and build entrepreneurial skills in a new generation of business leaders. Since 2012, THI has committed or distributed $5.7 million in direct crisis relief and $10.1 million in economic and entrepreneurial development. Last year’s Gala raised more than $2.2 million, making it the most successful fundraising event in the Greek diaspora globally.

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GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.