“There are children who faint from hunger. As teachers, we have the humanity to buy them food, to the extent that we can, at a personal cost. However, some students are ashamed and will not say that they haven’t eat, so they cannot concentrate and follow the lessons” said Thanasis Gounaris, principle of the 165th Primary School of Athens, based in Patisia.
According to a report in Ta Nea, the dire situation is indicative of the significant problem experienced in hundreds of schools throughout the country. Last year 406 schools enrolled into Diatrofi program, in order to provide breakfast meals to thousands of students facing serious financial problems.
The Education Ministry’s program is supported and funded by the Prolepsis Institute of Preventative, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The President of the Prolepsis Institute Athina Linou commented that 1,050 schools have applied for support, but the program may only cover 151 schools.
Initially the program aimed to cover the needs of 3,000 students, but at present about 15,600 students benefit from the program, indicating the extent of the problem.