On 23/7/2018, a devastating fire occurred in Mati area of Attica Region, leaving behind nearly 100 dead people, many injured and countless non-human victims. The majority of the survivors lost almost all of their belongings and some of them have even lost their homes.
Members of our union have been hurried to help, others by providing free services for psychological support, others by helping the veterinary centers of the area that were in need of volunteers, and others by hosting at their homes some of the stray animals that were found in the burnt area.
After 1-2 weeks, we read about the absence of the state – once again – during this very important period, that is, after the occurance of the disaster, until the payment of the allowances, so we decided that it is our duty to help with our turn , even for one day, some of these people.
Usually, humanitarian actions leave behind a huge environmental footprint, as the food that is distributed to vulnerable groups (eg homeless, refugees) includes animal products, is packed in aluminum bins that come in plastic bags and are accompanied by bottled water. This fact leads us to abstain from such actions as these come in conflict with our values.
But we believe that it is possible to support people without having any animal to be killed and without producing any garbage.
So the Ethos & Empathy team took the initiative and prepared to offer to the fire victims of Mati. 90 servings of food made up of tampouleh, chickpea salad and an piece of greek halva as a dessert!
The food was given was strictly vegetarian (vegan), all the raw materials used to produce the meals were of Greek origin and were bought in bulk. For distribution, they were packaged in compostable and biodegradable packages.
The value of the meals as such is less than 1 euro per person and rises only by 0.30 minutes per person if we add the value of the packages.
We can see, therefore, that the vegan way of eating and the ecological way of life are NOT only for the privileged and the rich, something that the world say it’s famous for … nor is something superhuman for the humanitarian organizations that receive donations and sponsorships with which they buy the food they distribute. With less money, you can offer food to more people.
We would like to thank Guaca for its offer of space and for our team that took care of cooking and preparing the meals.
Note: The ideal would be to get these packages back so we can throw them in the composting box that one of our members has but of course this is not possible. The reason we put emphasis on this is because it is not enough to only use an ecological packaging but what matters is where it will be put after use. These packages need particular conditions to be dismantled. But it is better to use these instead of aluminum ones of course.
** Unfortunately, the municipality of Marathon didn’t accept these meals and for that reason the distribution of these was made to the homeless people in the center of Athens.
Translation from Greek: Eva Ioannidi-Galani