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Thessalonki Central Market President Papadopoulos: Social Plate Project Helps Tackle Poverty, Social Exclusion

The Social Platet project aims to help social enterprises fight poverty and social exclusion, said Theodoros Papadopoulos, President of the Thessaloniki Central Market. He participated in the 5th cross-border conference of the project Europe in the Balkans: A Common Future, organized by BTA here on Tuesday.
The Social Plate project is implemented within the framework of the Interreg Territorial Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 with co-financing from the European Union.
The main objectives of the project include reducing food waste, providing food to people from vulnerable groups, reducing packaging waste, interaction between social organizations with similar objectives, providing long-term employment.
The Central Market of Thessaloniki is a public company, founded in 1975, which hosts a fruit and vegetable market a meat market, Papadopoulos said. The market handles around 600-800 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and 600 tonnes of meat daily. “Some 5,000 people attend our markets every day – workers, traders and suppliers,” Papadopoulos stressed.
He explained that the market has a huge amount of edible food products, so it was decided to participate in the project so as to provide food for people from vulnerable groups, while limiting food waste.
As a result of the project a total of 230,000 kg have been utilized and offered to those in need within 15 months, said Papadopoulos. He explained that the delivery was carried out by the organic waste management service of the Thessaloniki market with the help of over 75 volunteers from the organizations involved in the project. Social supermarkets, NGOs, foundations, church kitchens receive food products and provide them to vulnerable social groups, he explained.
Theodoros Papadopoulos also reported that the project has created an internet platform where beneficiaries and sponsors register. Every day, information on the quantities of food available in the markets within the Thessaloniki Market is made available on https://foodangels.socialplate.eu.