SOCIETY

Greek street magazine eyes subscriptions, food coupons to help sellers

greek-street-magazine-eyes-subscriptions-food-coupons-to-help-sellers

Greece’s street magazine Schedia has set out a plan to support its sellers now that the measures taken to halt the spread of the new coronavirus in the country have taken a toll on its sales or shut down soup kitchens on which homeless and vulnerable individuals depended.

For the first time since its launch in 2010, the magazine will be issued only through subscription in April, available on its website www.shedia.gr, instead of being distributed by sellers in the streets – “and, we hope, for the last time,” says Christos Alefantis, the magazine’s editor in chief.

The seven-point plan includes introducing a subscription (16 euros for four months or 8 euros for the two-month package, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the sellers), and helping the homeless in ways such as providing food coupons (in association with supermarkets), delivering food and other necessities to the places where the magazine sellers reside (many of whom belong to high-risk groups), providing them with entertainment/activities such as TVs, radios, books, playing cards, knitting supplies, diaries and means of communication such as prepaid phones, offering companionship, and cooking and distributing food for the most vulnerable.

“For many people, these days are not of self-isolation but of a [new] hard exclusion, which, for many people of Schedia in particular, awakens nightmares from their [very recent] past,” Alefantis explains, noting that the paper has been receiving calls from people who need food and shelter.

“Just when people had found some relief, a way to not only secure 5, 10 euros a day, but above all to remain active, visible, to maintain the hope that they will be able to take life back into their own hands, suddenly they are ‘withdrawn’ again, either in a hostel or in a damp apartment in Neos Kosmos, Attiki Square or Nikaia without electricity.”