This good practice aims to fight food poverty and malnutrition in the local region of Kozaniand and to reduce food waste of local bakeries and grocery stores.
ARSIS in Kozani was established in 2007, it organizes services, interventions and initiatives for combating poverty, supporting young people, defending human rights and the empowerment of vulnerable social groups. Its aim is to bridge the gap in prevention and in addressing the phenomenon of social exclusion the modern lifestyle has lead, while enhancing the voice and action of active citizenship through the development and promotion of volunteering locally. They have several projects for fighting the food poverty such as “Social Bank of Food and primary requisites”, “Bread on Hold” and “Milk on Hold”. These two last projects are working in the same way. “Bread on Hold” is a collaboration between the local Bakers’ Association "Prophet Elias" and ARSIS and “Milk on Hold” is a collaboration between the local dairy “Daily Milk Lefkaron Triantafillos” and ARSIS.
The general idea behind the “on hold” projects is:
-The customer “buy” on top of his/her supplies additional breads, buns, milks or anything else, pays for them and leave them “on hold” for a fellow citizen who needs them and can’t afford them.
-For each product “on hold” the storekeeper puts the receipt in a jar and writes on a board what products are “on hold” in order to be visible from everyone.
-Then, anyone who can’t afford buying these products but need them can go to a selling point that has products “on hold” and ask for them. The transaction is completed with discretion as it has been asked from ARSIS.

Resources needed

Grocers and bakers volunteers to offer unsold goods
Consumers volunteers to help people in need
Coordination by ARSIS to both maintain and stimulate the momentum

Evidence of success

- Reduction of food waste of local bakeries and grocery stores and increasing awareness about food poverty and the importance of volunteering.
- Fight food poverty and helping people in need while respecting their dignity. Here people in need that take part in “Bread in hold” and "Milk in hold" operation have a direct access to grocery stores and do not rely on food bank deliveries.

Potential for learning or transfer

In order to scale up this good practice more bakeries could be involved (also scaling out), a network could be created and the cooperation should take the form of regular interaction among relevant actors.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Local bakers’ association “Prophet Elias’, ARSIS (NGO)
Δυτική Μακεδονία, Greece (Ελλαδα)
Start Date
January 2007
End Date


Please login to contact the author.