Boroume: Saving food to save people from hunger
02 July 2020

Our journey with Boroume (which means “we can”) started in 2011—at the peak of the Greek financial and socioeconomic crisis.

When we met Boroume, it was a small group of volunteers who had come together in response to the challenges Greek society was experiencing. Most of us were entirely unprepared for what was coming. Amid the doom and gloom of the period, however, Boroume emerged to provide an innovative, sustainable solution to reduce food waste and address rising food insecurity. The media loved them—and so did we.
 
What makes Boroume so special is the simplicity behind its philosophy: match excess food that would otherwise go to waste to where there are needs. As Boroume has proven, all you need is a phone, a (very good) database, and enthusiastic volunteers. Volunteers are naturally drawn to an organization like Boroume. Food is something we all have in common, something we need to survive, but it’s also a source of pleasure, something we want to share with those we cherish. For some, though, it’s also a source of worry. And that’s where Boroume steps in!
 
SNF’s first grant to Boroume saw the hiring of their first two staff and the opening of their first office. After only two years of support, during one of the worst financial crises post-war Greece had seen, Boroume became self-sustaining. Today, Boroume is able to match an average of 24,400 meals a day with people in need through over 650 nonprofits across Greece.
 
It was only natural that in 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis hit, we turned to Boroume to distribute food aid to those most in need in Greece. Almost 10 years since our journey began, Boroume has created one of the largest and most respected food aid networks in the country. It is also one of the main advocates for the reduction of food waste in Greece and the rest of Europe and runs numerous educational and policy shaping programs.
 
Rosalyn Benjamin
SNF Program Officer, Athens
 
Recommended viewing:
Out Here, a documentary about SNF’s Grants Against the Greek Crisis initiative featuring Boroume