IOCC Quickly Joins Hunger Relief Efforts
For Greece's Struggling Families
The new poor of Greece includes young families like this woman and her two children who gratefully receive food and a blessing from His Beatitude, Ieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece during his visit to one of the many soup kitchens in Athens run by Apostoli, the social service agency of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens. Photo: Katarina Basileiou/Apostoli
January 20, 2012

Each day the streets of Athens become more crowded with families newly evicted from their homes due to job loss and the inability to pay their bills. As Greece's escalating economic woes drive more and more families into a desperate struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in cooperation with Apostoli, the social service agency of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens, is putting your support to work securing food aid packages for impoverished families and jobs for the unemployed.

The job shortage is especially dire for young workers under 25 with more than 46 percent of them without a job according to EU statistics. Through your desire to help, IOCC is supporting Apostoli's efforts to employ young people for jobs collecting, sorting and packaging food items from donation centers set up in 213 participating supermarkets in Greece.

From a warehouse space donated by the Greek army, the newly hired workers assemble 30-pound parcels containing enough food staples such as flour, rice, beans, milk and canned tomatoes to feed a family of four for a month. The food aid packages are then delivered each month to 70 parishes in the greater Athens metropolitan area where they are distributed by the parish priest to families living in poverty. To date, 1,700 families numbering approximately 7,000 people receive monthly food aid packages.

IOCC Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou, who witnessed the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Greece during his visit last month, says, "IOCC opens its heart and hand to the people of Greece during these difficult times and we encourage those in Greece who can help their neighbors to work with the Church to do so."

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented relief and development programs in 50 countries across four continents around the world.

How You Can Help
You can help the victims of poverty around the world, like those in Greece, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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