City: Athens and the rest of Greece
A non-profit organisation fighting against the waste of leftover food by aiding the recovery and redistribution of food surplus to those in need throughout Greece.
Photo courtesy of Boroume
Holding Organisation: Μπορούμε- Boroume Status: nonprofit organisation People involved in the project: 4 employees, 20 volunteers Public partners: NO Private Partners: Stavros Niarchos Foundation (http://www.snf.org/) Sources and links: http://www.boroume.gr; info à boroume.gr
The idea started from the realisation that there is so much food being wasted at a time when there is a growing need for free meals to people who are at risk of poverty. For this reason, the organisation was founded with the aim to network the places of food waste, along with the spaces that need food.
The local context:
After Greece entered into the IMF agreement in 2010, the economical measures that were imposed resulted in much of the population being driven to poverty. Unemployment rates are increasing daily, the number of homeless grows and many families are unable to meet basic survival needs. On the other hand, the social welfare is shrinking while churches, municipalities, various NGOs and many other initiatives distribute food in the form of rations, but which is difficult to operate due to lack of funding.
The starting point:
- May 2011: beginning of the initiative
- January 2012: founding of the organisation
How does it work?
The organisation has created a website that lists both the places that provide food and those that require it. “Boroume” undertakes to network these bodies, after which then the networking continues to function autonomously. There is, of course, a programme for monitoring the networks and to solve any problems that arise. The objective is that the recipient of the food receives the donation without the need to involve the organisation, while those interested in becoming sponsors learn how to do so. 60% of costs are covered by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the rest from private donations and fundraising initiatives by individuals.
On a second level, because there is no legal framework in Greece in connection with corporate donations, the legal team of "Boroume", in cooperation with other agencies, is in talks with government agencies to adapt the legal framework.
Added value of the project and making resources available:
- Economic benefits: it reserves food for organisations and networks that provide meals to citizens in need, but that are unable to meet financial costs to source it themselves. - Ecological benefits: it helps to avoid waste of food - Shaping policies: it is trying to change the legal framework around donations in Greece, to avoid wasting food which can instead be utilized by those in need.
- The interest in the network is growing rapidly, thereby increasing the demand chain. At present there is a list of 850 persons who have applied to be volunteers. However, these needs cannot be met by the organisation just yet.
- The obtaining of sponsorships is an ongoing issue, both for the sustainability of the organisation and to meet the needs that are continually increasing due to the economical crisis.
So far, the organisation has not been able to deal with wasted food in the primary sector (agriculture, livestock). The same applies to waste from large supermarkets due to a legal framework that is lacking in this area. The immediate plans of the organisation therefore are to change the legal framework to incorporate potential sponsors that are currently limited in the provision of food surplus.