Hundreds of Athenians queued as early as 8 o’ clock in the morning at the park of Pedion tou Areos in downtown Athens in order to receive vegetables free of charge. The action initiated by farmers from Ierapetra, Crete, was to start at 10 a.m.
However as the stunned donors saw people of all ages to stand in line under the summer heat they decided to start the distribution two hours earlier than planned.
Priority was given to registered impoverished families living in the Athens municipality area. However also other residents who flocked to the park could get a box of vegetables home. Within three hours, 25 tonnes of vegetables were carried away by happy residents of Athens.
A total of 2,700 boxes each containing 10-12 kilos of aubergines, cucumbers, tomatoes and paprikas were handed out to the people.
The price of one box in the open market would be approximately 12 to 13 euro.
Many of the beneficiaries told Greek media, that they are jobless or low pensioners. “My husband is without job since 2008” a woman told private Mega Tv and another said “We’re hungry”. A third woman said she had a special needs child and that “the social benefits were not paid since quite some time”.
Crete farmers wanted not only to launch an publicity action for their products but also to deliver a message of solidarity to debt-ridden Greeks.
The President of the agricultural co-operative “Anatoli” from Ierapetra stated that “we, farmers, send a message of solidarity to those Greeks who struggle to survive and cannot buy our products. We have the same problem and we have to help each other.”