By Bejay Browne
A LOCAL radio station has stepped in to help a charity which is under increasing pressure to feed hundreds of needy families in Paphos.
Founders of the Solidarity charity say there is a real chance that families could be left to starve in the near future unless something is done urgently.
Pavlina Patsalou, who heads up the group along with Paphos councillor George Sofokleous, said the charity has been feeding hundreds of Paphos families for 20 or so months. They started with 20 families and now numbers are in excess of 650.
“We are being sent more and more people from the welfare department and other government bodies. I think there is a real possibility that some families may be starving soon and this worries me so much,” Patsalou said.
Solidarity and Rock FM now aim to raise money and food to help families who are not officially entitled to assistance as they fall outside municipal boundaries. Rock FM is encouraging people to arrive at the station today from 10am with non perishable foodstuffs or a donation.
“We are inviting businesses and individuals to come to the radio station to take part in a live show raising funds and donations for the Solidarity charity,” said station manager, Agapios Georgiou.
He continued: “the presenters of the ‘Bit in The Middle’ show wanted to do more to help the community. So, we decided to host a live broadcast called ‘Love your neighbour’ in aid of this worthy cause.”
Patsalou said the situation has become dire. “We are finding it hard to cope with the increasing numbers of needy coming to us for help. Some are being sent by the government departments who say they can’t help them. But we are now being faced by massive problems – companies that were supporting us before can’t even give ten euros now because of what has happened with the banks. We need money to buy food and we have to try and organise one event after another as we just can’t keep up with the demand.”
According to the charity, numbers of new families needing help every week are already in double figures. Most arrive at the charity on foot as they have no money for petrol to put in their cars, some don’t have electricity or telephones.
The radio station’s ‘Love your neighbour’ experience will be broadcast live during today’s morning show ‘The Bit in the Middle’ which is broadcast on 98.5/106.7 FM, from 10-11am. “We really need businesses and the public to help,” Georgiou said.
Items requested include all dry goods, such as rice, pasta, pulses, long life milk, tinned goods, tea, coffee, sugar and especially baby items such as nappies and baby milk. Toiletries, toilet paper and adult diapers are also needed.
Rock FM Tel: 26 822073, 203Galateia Court, Galateias Street, Paphos. www.rockfm985.com, www.solidaritypaphos.com