“Hunger is insolent, and will be fed.”
I am Greek, by marriage only. Or so I’ve always thought. Recently, I discovered that half of my maternal ancestors were of Greek origin. Perhaps this explains my affinity for the country, the people, and the food. For me, Greek food equals abundance, a Mediterranean feast of savory and sweet delicacies that make you want to loosen your belt, and throw any notion of dieting out the window. After all, the Greek diet is one of the healthiest in the world. I swear by it. So, when I see the hunger and starvation that is spreading like an insidious virus throughout Greece, it makes me sick in my heart.
Nationwide, children are fainting from malnourishment and suffering chronic, painful bouts of hunger cramps. A nation of proud and feisty people are being brought to their knees. Not just the poorest of poor, or the working class… but, also the middle class. Yet another country that is seeing its middle class disappear below the poverty line.
The Greek Orthodox Church feeds approximately 55,000 people per day and the soup kitchens are at full capacity, distributing an estimated 7,000 meals to people… just in Athens alone.
If it is indeed true that there’s reason to celebrate because the recession in Europe is coming to an end, Greece certainly hasn’t been invited to the party.
With every severe economic crisis, extreme conditions inevitably breed extreme behaviors. Not surprisingly, violence, domestic abuse, theft, vandalism and prostitution are at an all-time high in Greece. However, on the other end of the spectrum, the outpouring of kindness and generosity from within Greece and from other countries has been heartwarming. Throughout the country, families are helping other families. In the Greek Expat communities around the world, there has been a wave of support for the mother country.
For more information on helping the hungry, homeless and jobless in Greece, please go to the Greek America Foundation‘s website and learn more about Project Hope for Greece.
Image via bookbar.gr.