As the weather turns colder, there is an increased need for humanitarian and social aid, especially in cities, and the Local Orthodox Churches throughout the world have various programs for assisting those in need.
Though there are no central statistics and data on the Bulgarian Church’s social organizations and activities, the site Dobrotoliubie carried out its own online research, quoted by Orthochristian, showing that thousands of needy citizens receive assistance daily and weekly from the Church’s various diocesan organizations.
Based on available data, more than 2,400 people hot food from the Church’s social kitchens daily or weekly, though Dobrotoliubie notes that half of the organizations do not keep complete statistics, and thus the actual numbers are much higher.
For example, according to official information from the Omsbudman of the Republic of Bulgaria for 2018, in a joint initiative with the Metropolis of Sofia, more than 30,000 elderly people were fed in just a month and a half.
It should be noted that in Bulgaria, social kitchens and institutions do not have their own personal funding and rely only on donations and voluntary work, which is also the main difficulty preventing the organization of such social initiatives.
To date, 31 social kitchens operate daily or weekly in Bulgaria. Charitable organizations run by parishes, clergy, and dioceses began to appear in Bulgaria mainly following the fall of communism 30 years ago.
According to a summer poll, the Bulgarian Church is the most trusted institution in the country.
Photo courtesy of Central London Church