According to the results of a survey published by NGO Prolepsis Institute, the prolonged socio-economic crisis in Greece is increasing the problem of food insecurity and enhances unhealthy eating habits in children, while affecting severely their ability to attend school, to cope with school work and follow lessons.
During the 2014-2015 school year, 53% of the children taking part in the Program on Food Aid and Healthy Nutrition "Diatrofi" - organized by the Prolepsis Institute on the initiative of the founding donor Stavros Niarchos Foundation - experienced food insecurity and 21% experienced hunger.
In a press release issued after the Conference held by the Prolepsis Institute on the occasion of World Food Day, experts presented facts indicating the estimated number of students living below the poverty line and data regarding the impact of the economic crisis on the lives of children in Greece.
It was revealed that almost 50% of students faced food insecurity, with one out of six facing physical health problems and one out of four facing emotional health problems. At the same time, according to the head of the Prolepsis Institute, Prof. Athina Linou, 250.000 school children in Greece have applied for help for the year 2016, under the 'Diatrofi' program, which has been running for the 5th year, and has delivered more than 11 million meals to some 450 schools and 75,000 students.
It is worth noticing that a recent report UNICEF underlines that the largest increase in child poverty was noticed in Southern European countries –Greece, Italy, Spain, as well as in some other European states that have been hit hard by the economic crisis. The same study found that the children who were most affected were from countries where fiscal adjustments were implemented.