A total of 89 families received today, Friday, December 30, a package with the necessary food for the New Year's table, from the Social Grocery Store of the Municipality of Larnaca.
As Kokos Gerasimos, Head of the Larnaca Social Grocery, reported to KYPE, “this year we have provided packages with food and other basic necessities to 89 families”.
At the Grocery store, he added, “we have created a team of volunteers and with the support of the Municipality of Larnaca and the Welfare Committee of the Municipality, we are trying with the help of our suppliers, including companies, farmers and supermarkets, to offer our fellow human beings who are in need, especially on the festive days of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany, at least the necessary food for the festive table”.
In response to a related question, Mr. Gerasimos said that “the Social Grocery of the Municipality Larnaca started its operation on March 15, 2013 and since then I have been volunteering my services. I believe that I got volunteering from my mother who, as far as I remember, when I was five years old, she was baking bread and offering the first loaf to poor families”.
Regarding his employment at the Social Grocery of Larnaca, he stated that “when I was in Britain, I was the director of a Hospital and I dealt with humanitarian and social issues. When I returned to Cyprus it was a natural consequence to continue volunteering by offering my services wherever needed”.
Mr. Gerasimos also mentioned that “when the Social Grocery Store of the Municipality of Larnaca was initially operating, there were many volunteers. However, recently there has not been much response to job offers since those who are interested can only work certain hours of the day which, however, do not serve the Grocery Store”.
The Manager of the Social Grocery Store responded positively to a question by how much the needs of the public have increased over the years, for help from the Grocery Store, explaining that “in May 2014 we offered a package to 465 families, i.e. almost three thousand people. However, with the start of the Minimum Guaranteed Income, the needs decreased and we reached only 38 families”.
With the start of the pandemic, “the needs of our fellow citizens increased enormously, while with the lockdown we gave packages twice a week, Wednesday and Friday, to a total of 280 families. But in the last month with the increases in the prices of goods, which is difficult both for the Municipality to secure money to buy products, but also for our suppliers to provide goods and products, the families have increased from 60 families that were five before months, in 105”.
To another question, Mr. Gerasimos replied that “the packages for the New Year were given today, Friday, December 30, and they contained besides the usual food, hamburgers with vegetables, chicken, minced meat and king pie. Last week for Christmas, the package contained, among other things, sausages, pasturma, curabies, honey macarons, cookies and chocolates for the children. 105 coupons for a purchase from a specific bakery chain of 20 euros. The vouchers will be given to the beneficiaries with the Epiphany package next Thursday, January 5, 2023”.
The Manager of the Social Grocery Store of the Municipality of Larnaca wished “everyone a Happy New Year with health” and expressed the hope ” to reduce the problems that exist worldwide so that families no longer need the Social Grocers to secure the necessities of life”.