Supporting Social Enterprises in combating poverty and social exclusion (SOCIAL PLATE)

Central Market of Thessaloniki
International Educational Institute "Technopolis"
Municipality of Borino
NGO "Active Youths"

Project Background:
The CB area includes some of the most deprived and isolated communities of both countries as manifested by rising poverty rates and high unemployment rates particularly amongst 2 types of social groups: professionally and financially challenged groups (women, youth, long-term unemployed, below poverty line households), which find it difficult to be integrated in the labor market.  The rise of poverty in the CB area places vulnerable groups at increased risk of peril.

The project idea was developed as a response to the persistent issues of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. In particular, the project attempts to promote territorial cohesion through the creation and promotion of social enterprises in Greece and Bulgaria with a task of providing not only jobs to people who have been long-term unemployed and marginalized, but also nurishment to vulnerable groups such as disabled and elderly. 


The scope of the project is the support for the establishment of a new SE in the form of an NGO in Greece (Central Macedonia), and the promotion of this entity in Bulgaria through social franchising, i.e. the cross-border transfer of the social enterprise from one side of the border to the other. The purpose of the NGO is the distribution of long-lasting products that would be otherwise wasted, promoting an environmentally conscious approach, and at the same time involving people from financially and professionally challenged groups to ensure the every day operations of the entity. 

Every day, merchants of the Central Market of Thessaloniki (CMT SA) deliver non-marketable products to the Social Plate, which, under the supervision of the quality control officer, is divided into suitable for consumption and non-consumable products. The suitable for consumption products are repackaged with the help of volunteers from the organizations benefiting from the program. Social partners in the region (Social Grocery, Non-Governmental Organizations, Church etc.), collaborating with the project, receive the recovered products and distribute them, cooked or not, to vulnerable groups of our society. Through the Social Plate platform, the website and the Facebook page, the available quantities are announced to the interested parties; whereas, through the “Food angels” platform, one can become either a food donor, a volunteer or a beneficiary (food recipient).


The Project was selected by the project Bioregio (Interreg Europe), as the most successful good practice, for its efforts to reduce food loss through the recovery of food that is suitable for consumption and its offer to vulnerable social groups and is included on the INTERREG EUROPE platform (see here).


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