Police in Patras said yesterday they had been given the government’s blessing to distribute the proceeds of their raids on illegal traders among the city’s poor families. Three trucks full of shoes, bags, toys, clocks, chairs, carpets and even natural gas canisters – believed to have been in storage for the past seven years – are now waiting to be delivered to the city’s 750 poorest families. Patras’s municipal authorities had proposed the initiative several months ago but only now received the government’s approval for the scheme, which will eventually be extended across the country. Work tools seized in police raids will be given to various municipal services to reduce their costs, police said. The distribution of the various goods will be carried out by staff of the «food banks» set up six years ago by municipal authorities and the Orthodox Church in Patras.