The Hellenic Initiative (THI) of Australia has announced that it will be funding the Boroume Farmers Market Program in Greece for the fourth year with a  $71,000 grant renewal for 2020-21.

The latest grant means that the organisation has committed $249,000 to the Farmers’ Market Program since 2017. The program has successfully supplied more than 32 charities in Athens and Thessaloniki with fresh food, including church and municipals soup kitchens, refugee shelters, hospices for people with disabilities and other welfare organisations.

Over the past three years, Boroume, with support from THI Australia, has distributed more than 379,000 kg of fresh produce from 21 farmers markets in Athens and seven in Thesaloniki to redistribute in more than 1.5 million food portions.

“The Hellenic Initiative Australia is proud to have partnered with Boroume for the past four years to support the expansion of the Farmers Market Program,” said THI Australia President, Nicholas Pappas AM.

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“Despite the COVID-19 disruption of the past few months, the farmers markets have continued to generously donate food to help people in need,” said Mr Pappas.

“We remain deeply concerned about the impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable in Greek society and are pleased to be assisting charities to support people with their basic nutritional needs through the Farmers’ Market Program.”

Boroume founding member, Alexander Theodoridis, welcomed the continued support from THI Australia. Mr Theodoridis founded the organisation in 2012 and it has since distributed more than 36 million portions of food.

“There has already been an upward trend in the number of people approaching welfare organisations for help but we expect this to increase significantly from September, given the expected fallout from the substantial decrease in tourism this summer,” Mr Theodoridis said.

‘The situation hasn’t improved just because we have ended the general lockdown. We are trying to find ways in the current operating environment to be able to continue to support them because the need is great.”