A quarter of schoolchildren in Athens going hungry, poll finds

Following recent complaints from teachers that some children are going to school on an empty stomach, the Prolepsis Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health on Wednesday released data from a survey that indicates the extent of the problem.

The organization polled pupils at 64 schools in Athens where it provides free meals with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and found that 25 percent of the children’s families were suffering from hunger and another 60 percent from food insecurity.

In 61 percent of cases, one of the two parents had no income and 11 percent of the children were not covered by social security.

“The socioeconomic crisis is unfortunately leaving its mark on the most vulnerable group: children,” said Prolepsis chief Athina Linou.

The program provides meals for 15,520 pupils, half of whom live under the poverty threshold.