05 OCTOBER 2015 / The SNF announces a new grant of €1 million in support of the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program in Greece, which is implemented by Prolepsis Institute, together with an additional matching grant of up to €1.5 million, for the same program

The SNF announces a new grant of €2.5 million, to help support the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program in public schools throughout Greece, during the current school year (2015-2016).

While, €1 million out of the €2.5 is for direct support of the Program, the remaining €1.5 million is allocated as a matching grant. The Program is implemented by Prolepsis – Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health (www.PROLEPSIS.gr). 

Including the new grants, the SNF has committed a total of €21 million in support of the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, since its launch in April 2012, recognizing the growing needs as a result of the crisis, which have seriously impacted the future of our society, our children. 

The new grant will directly support approximately 3,800 students and their families, in schools with higher levels of food insecurity. The schools are mainly located in large cities, where the adverse effects of the ongoing crisis are more pronounced. 

According to recent statistical data compiled by the Prolepsis Institute from schools in underprivileged areas that participated in the program, the percentage of Greek students experiencing food insecurity exceeds 50%. This is an alarming figure, especially since it refers to an advanced European Union nation in the 21st century. Even though the issue has received extensive publicity in recent years, the scale of the problem remains largely unknown to the general public. Despite Prolepsis Institute’s successful efforts to raise funds from multiple donors, in support of the Program, the number of children that have been included in it remains significantly lower compared to the actual needs.  

Taking all of the above into consideration, in addition to the recent €1 million grant, the SNF will support the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program with an additional €1.5 million matching grant, i.e. providing a grant of equal value for every €100,000 Prolepsis fundraises from other donors in support of the Program. The matching grant is activated with any other contributions Prolepsis Institute fundraises, from individuals, corporations, foundations, government agencies, European programs, etc.

The additional grant aims to include more schools in the Program, offering support to more students in need. Moreover, by approving a matching grant, the SNF aims to encourage other potential donors to actively support the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, by raising awareness, to the extent possible, about the magnitude of the problem. 

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, said: “During these very difficult times for Greece, there are initiatives such as the ‘Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program’, which offer much-needed relief to our fellow citizens and, especially, to vulnerable social groups, like our children. For our part, we continue to support the Program, as always to the extent of our abilities. At the same time, we recognize that there is a limit to our capacity, which by definition is complementary, and wonder, will there ever be a more opportune time for others to step up and join this effort, so that all of us, together, may eliminate this plight as soon as possible?” 

The Foundation also commissioned Deloitte to conduct an evaluation report of the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, both in relation to its pilot implementation phase (April-June 2012), as well as the 2012-2014 school years. The study, which confirms the effectiveness and multifaceted positive impact of this particular Program, is available here

SNF’s grants in support of the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program, from 2012 to date, represent approximately 10% of the €200 million emergency relief Initiative Against the Greek Crisis. 

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More information about the Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program:

The Food Aid & Promotion of Healthy Nutrition Program is directed towards students attending public schools located in socioeconomically vulnerable areas of Greece that have been affected by the crisis. Its aim is, on the one hand, to provide all participating students with the opportunity to receive a daily free, healthy and nutritious meal and, on the other hand, to promote the importance of healthy nutrition to students and their families, via specially designed informational materials and educational events and activities. 

Specifically, from April 2012 to June 2015, the Program was implemented in 450 public schools in 29 peripheries and 56 municipalities around Greece. Overall, approximately 75,000 students received more than 11.000.000 meals. At the same time, as part of the Program, 124 educational events addressed to parents and 54 to students took place in schools, during which nutrition experts focused on the multiple and long-term benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.

The implementation of the Program has delivered positive outcomes so far since, as a result of the program, food insecurity for students and their families has decreased by 11% annually. In addition, more than 30% of the students improved their nutritional habits by consuming more milk, fruits, vegetables, etc. The Program also assisted students in improving their school performance, according to 60% of the parents.