30/32. Helping the poorest in society with dignity

30/32. Helping the poorest in society with dignity

We are very fortunate in Cyprus as it is extremely rare for a family or child to go to bed hungry. If elected president I will instruct the volunteer commissioner (who will be working for the new charity commission) to organise a long-term food initiative with villages, bakeries, restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets, in partnership with philanthropic organisations to help the poor. Cyprus hospitality is legendary. A good example is our amazing fish and meat mezzes served at restaurants. However, there is so much food waste, it is shameful. I don’t mean what’s left on the table after a meal, but what’s left in the restaurant kitchen, bakery, or supermarket that is thrown away daily.

I want an army of volunteers to distribute surplus food every evening using a state-of-the-art national online system. Perhaps for just one evening every 2 weeks. And to do so with dignity. We Cypriots are proud. Even a lonely pensioner with no family, or a family that needs help may be reticent to accept charity, so this must be done with dignity. Liability is not a major issue. I cannot recall ever being poisoned by a meal my mother or grandmother cooked that was eaten the next day. All participating food outlets should be honoured with a digital and physical badge for their assistance, similar to TripAdvisor ones.

[Personal experiences: I’ve known substantial wealth; having a Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin in the 90s. I’ve also experienced financial hardship as a teenage husband and father, only just beginning an IT career at a bank and having to cope with a severely disabled baby. My wife at the time had the more challenging responsibility. It was her love and devotion to our son that kept him alive despite numerous operations and medical procedures, including having to feed him at home for over a year with a rubber tube directly into his stomach.]

If I am elected president, I will never forget those days. I will do my very best to use my influence to help the poorest and least fortunate in our society with the human dignity they deserve.     


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