Hundreds of homeless people enjoyed Christmas lunch at a sports centre in the Greek capital Athens on Wednesday, organised by a food bank run by the City of Athens municipality.
Christos Pappas, who has been homeless for eight months, appreciated the respite and support provided by the food bank.
“Outside it’s a jungle. You have to be careful of everything, this is what I say to my friends also. We have to keep our eyes open all the time,” said
The meal was organised by the City of Athens Homeless Shelter (KYADA), with support from private sponsors.
Nikos Kokkinos, President of KYADA, said the Christmas lunch had been put on for many years, but the support had become more important since Greece’s financial meltdown.
“We support these people so they can feel like they are at home and we are one big family,” he said.
Levels of poverty have risen sharply in the financially crippled country over the last year.
Unemployment has remained stable for the past six months, at around 27 percent.
But seven out of ten jobless Greeks have now been out of work for more than a year and so are no longer eligible for regular benefits.
Charities have stepped up efforts in the run-up to Christmas to help the growing number of homeless people, as well as struggling households who can not pay their utility bills and so have no power to heat their homes.
You can license this story through AP Archive: https://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/b5bd3e19b3d77d7c6b71373c4ae2ab77
Find out more about AP Archive: https://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork