during the week, i volunteer at a food pantry, assembling (on mondays and wednesdays) and distributing (on tuesdays and thursdays) boxes of food for low-income families. with the continuing economic problems in greece, many families who used to have decent incomes now need extra help, so the municipal service center for the poor operates a program, underwritten by one of the local private utilities, to assist 100 families with weekly groceries for a six-month period. the boxes contain basic staples – juice, pasta, dried beans, cereal, tuna, and the like, as well as cleaning products: not enough to completely feed a family of five for the week, but it helps.
the clientele is a mix of greeks and legal immigrants. if yesterday’s demonstration was any indication of the size of the need, 100 families is just a drop in the bucket, but one drop is better than no drops at all, and the people who come in seem awfully grateful for the assistance they get.