The metropolitan region encompasses 110 villages with a population of 10,000 inhabitants throughout the villages. Geographically it is the largest region in Crete yet the lowest in population. It is exclusively comprised of villages and no cities. The majority of its villages have between 50-70 inhabitants, most of them over the age of 65. Due to its demographics, the Metropolis of Lampe, Syvritou, and Sfakia is known as the “Aged Metropolis”. The Metropolis operates various social programs in 2 villages (Spili and Fourfoura), through its affiliated nonprofit organization Cultural and Social Center of Amari “The Saint Nektarios”. The social programs include: social tutoring school, fitness centers, performance/event spaces, religious bookstore, traditional dance classes, traditional musical instruments classes and a Hot Meal Program.
The Hot Meal Program involves the daily delivery of 2 meals to the homes of approximately 90-130 seniors. The Program started in 2002 in Fourfoura after many seniors visited the nearest hospital for malnutrition. The Spili location was added in 2004. In order to get to all the villages on the same day, two vehicles are used, each traveling 160km daily. Both locations employ a team of 3 persons while 5 volunteers are involved in the Program’s daily operation.
The grant regards the provision of food supplies for the Hot Meal Program for 12 months. The beneficiaries are the approximately 110 low-income seniors living in the mountainous villages of the area. The Hot Meal Program is unique in its nature and has important benefits for elders who live alone, in small villages, scattered throughout the mountains of Crete.