By Angelos Anastasiou
THE COMMISSIONER for Volunteerism, Yiannis Yiannaki has issued a plea to the public to continue to support food banks, both with supplies and volunteer service, especially during the Easter period.
In a written statement, the Commissioner’s office noted that the aim was for no citizen to go through the Easter holiday without the basic food items or other essentials.
“Volunteerism continues to be the rising power of the citizenry in providing those less fortunate among us with hope,” the Commissioner’s statement concluded.
Speaking to ant1iwo news portal, Yiannaki said that currently 55 organisations coordinate through his office to support around 13.500 families, mostly with food supplies.
Traditionally, Easter in Cyprus includes certain period-specific foods. The food banks, Yiannaki said, try to accommodate local particularities to the aid they offer families.
“Especially during the Easter holiday, we try to supplement the food supplies with meat – which is hard to do as meat requires special storage, not always available to all food banks, but we try to offer all families with meat, like turkey,” he said.
The Archbishopric’s food bank alone estimated the number of families it will be supporting over the Easter period to 2,600.
A spokesman for the church food bank said that on instructions from Archbishop Chrysostomos it will supplement its ‘Easter basket’ with two or three additional food items, including a whole chicken per family.
Last week, gaming company OPAP offered the sum of €300.000 to the 55 organisations coordinating through the Commissioner’s office, which Yiannaki said would go a long way towards accommodating the needs of the 13.500 families during the Easter period.
Meanwhile, the state telecoms company CyTA has announced its offer of €42.000 to support 30 food banks all over Cyprus.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company noted that Commissioner Yiannaki congratulated CyTA and its staff for their continued substantial support of vulnerable groups.
CyTA spokeswoman Rita Karatzia reaffirmed the commitment of both the management and staff to support our fellow citizens in need.
“CyTA and its staff will always be present in any solidarity effort in our country, since the organisation itself is fully born and bred in Cyprus,” Karatzia said.