Social Kitchens and Food Distribution

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In the area of food, a series of initiatives and practices have been developed. Along the collective kitchens, with actions for the unemployed, homeless but also solidarity cooking for workers’ on strike, movements for the collection and distrubution of foodstuff have developed, for households that cannot meet their needs for survival. In every case, the target is the participation and activation of the those very people who have the problem, the break of social isolation and individualisation of the problem, against despair, personal interest, social fragmentation that feeds fascist tendencies, for the strengthening of social cohesion and of the community spirit in every neighbourhood. Some examples of such interventions are the Solidarity Network of Vyronas (Athens) which, in a period of half a year it started July-August 2012– reached the point of supplying food to 240 families twice a month. The whole effort started from 4-5 persons, while now there are 30 persons active participating in its assembly. Also, the Solidarity Club of Neos Kosmos, one of the poor neighbourhoods of Athens, started gratis solidarity classes (for pupils) in September of 2011, to continue one year later with a social kitchen initially for 10 persons. Today (February 2013) it cooks for 45 people every day and provides 36 households with one bag of foodstuff twice a month. Another interesting example is the Participatory Table of Solidarity and Emancipation organised in Kavala (Northern Greece). The Participatory Table started in Christmas 2011. From the Easter of 2012 it functions every Friday evening and since last October has added a launch three times a week. Invited are all those in need, or who can contribute in any way (food, plates, tablecloths, prticipation in setting, cleaning etc.). Usually the foodstuff is guaranteed from donations, while the dinner is followed by music or talk of the table companions, so as to avoid being a mere charity but an act of socialisation and entertainment, too. The Participatory Table until now has covered the needs of 200 persons and as from the 10 persons who started organising it, now the base number of volunteers is 40, and they prepare the move to the provision of everyday lunch.

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