CEO Spotlight: Argiris Zannias – Founder of Nonprofit Food On

Social entrepreneurship can provide solutions to many social problems, or at least limit them. Food On is a non-governmental organization with a vision of helping the unemployed, socially and professionally excluded individuals, and those currently in poverty to get their lives back on track and make it easier to face everyday challenges. The founder of Food On, Argiris Zannias, explains in CEOWORLD magazine how a personal experience inspired him to create a non-governmental organization, always striving for a better society for all. With that in mind, he revealed his future plans.

Q: Food On started its activities in 2017. How did you get started and how many people have you helped so far?

Argyris Xanias: The impetus for creating “Food On” was born at an early age. Being part of a single parent family, I had to deal with financial hardships and the social stigma faced by single parents like myself at the time.

This decisive period in my life was a catalyst for me to mature rapidly and begin to experience the world from an entirely different perspective.

5852 people in Attica were helped with the support of ‘Food On’. Our organization’s vision is a society without social exclusion, giving all people an equal opportunity to live with dignity and independence.

Q: Can you describe your project and how do you fund it?

Argyris Xanias: Through comprehensive free programs, the ‘Food On’ model connects the unemployed, socially and professionally excluded individuals, and those currently in poverty with experts and training to work in the world. provide opportunities. You can get to know and interact with people from different social groups by participating in social dining events organized by the tourism and food industries or ‘Food On’, and ultimately meet your daily nutritional needs. Something we take for granted but not given to many others.

“Food On” will hold a pop-up restaurant at a different venue each time. A group of non-stereotyped strangers from different social backgrounds come together at the same table to have a delightful meal, create delightful memories, and share stories and emotions. Many people live in poverty, which is not necessarily something they share in public. It’s that intimate element of openness and mutual compassion that makes dining with people such a special and unique experience. This is ‘Food On’ social dining, a feast for the purpose of socializing the participants, creating conditions that make it a tool for new beginnings for those who need it most.

Part of our mission is also to re-establish and integrate our compatriots living in extreme poverty into society by providing education and solidarity activities. Our organization relies on funding from private donations, individual donations, and CSR initiatives from private organizations.

Argiris Zannias (Αργύρης Ζαννιάς)

Q: Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your activities and work? Was there a greater need to serve the community?

Argyris Xanias: The pandemic has forced us in many ways to put humanitarian efforts on hold and look for alternative routes to adapt. As they say, obstacles are often springboards, so we saw this complexity as an opportunity to innovate to meet the requirements of the times. , in terms of internal operational efficiency and, of course, in terms of the sphere of influence of the assistance we provide to all those who benefit from us.

Clearly, the pandemic poses greater challenges for vulnerable groups, both in employment (which is crucial in an individual’s life) and in social interactions, extending to social empathy, the ability to understand structural inequalities and disparities. is causing

Argiris Zannias (Αργύρης Ζαννιάς)

Q: What are your future plans for Food On?

Argyris Xanias: As an NGO, Food On’s main purpose is to continue to help those in need and provide them with opportunities to help them gain or regain a better life – the life they deserve. That’s it. Always implementing needs-based strategies, taking small steps or big steps to create a better society for all. In that effort, we rely on the vital support of our funders, sponsors, and private institutions that provide our financial resources, as well as the volunteers who contribute human resources. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of you and look forward to your participation.

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