Food and Kindness in Action

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The Project

Who we are

The name Philoxenia derives from an ancient Greek term referring to the duty of kindness and hospitality shown to guests, foreigners and strangers. In this sense, we are providing food in Thessaloniki for refugees and locals living on the streets. It all started with the idea of running a mobile kitchen in Lesbos, 2015. Since then we’ve been preparing and distributing hot meals, tea during winter and water throughout summer; in Turkey, Serbia, and since 2016 with a permanent kitchen in Greece again. The action group is mainly organized by Anja Tedesko and various voluntary coordinators running the kitchen in Thessaloniki, supported by the invaluable help of volunteers, both independent and those associated with various NGOs. We are currently independent of the monetary support of organizations or states and dependent on private donations. Nobody is paid for the work, all donations serve the supply.

What we do

Food is one of the most important foundations of life. We believe that everyone deserves access to warm food, especially those who live at the margins of society. Using only fresh ingredients to bring all necessary nutritional values together, we strive to offer two free meals a day, seven days a week, for at least 250 people. All meals we produce are vegan, this is for a variety of reasons. Not only because it’s the cheapest option, but because it allows people coming from all different cultural backgrounds to have a proper meal, fitting to the vast majority of dietary and allergy concerns. We’re cooking for people living in precarious conditions, so by serving vegan food, we can avoid potentially hazardous issues such as cross-contamination. Currently, we are cooking in a kitchen located in the Oikopolis community centre, and distributing the food in aluminium boxes with a car or van, near the train station of Thessaloniki, where many seek shelter in abandoned buildings. We’re not only providing meals, our role is also to observe the situation on the streets. We’re often the first to see arrivals and the last to see departures; whilst also catering to the greater needs of families and minors. We work with other organizations such as lawyers and doctors to support them in their next steps, such as where they can take a shower, get sleeping bags and seek legal support.

How you can help

The situation at the moment is critical. We’re facing a water bill of 1070 Euros, road taxes for the car about 335 Euros and 190 Euros for the van. At the beginning of 2019 we will also have to pay the insurance for both vehicles. We don’t know yet the exact amounts, but according to the costs of last year it will be more than 1000 Euros each. All this while our most important donors had to cut the financial support, what is hitting us the most. Greece is still affected by the impacts of the financial crisis, the camps are full, people are still coming and in need. To be able to continue providing hot food, we are dependent on your help.

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Important Update October 2018

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Philoxenia – Food and Kindness in Action