City Council member, Dragomir Petronijević, said that this is just one of 30 initiatives in which the Belgrade city authorities are involved that aim to helping refugees as they pass through Serbia on their way to western Europe. He confirmed there were plans to intensify these efforts as the weather becomes colder during the winter months.
Petronijević thanked a local restaurant, Čačanski konak, for providing a space where the meals could be handed out to refugees in some comfort.
“The point is to make sure migrants passing through our city get a filling hot meal in a warm indoor space,” Petronijević told reporters.
B92 and Večernje Novosti recently reported that Saturday was a record-breaking day in terms of the numbers of refugees coming into Serbia. More than 9,000 people from the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa crossed Serbia’s southern borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia in just one day. Organisations working on the front-line to help refugees say that they expect the numbers to stay high throughout the winter but that they anticipate refugees will travel through Serbia more quickly to avoid the cold weather.
The head of the Scout Association of Serbia, Tanja Janković, told reporters that the initiative to hand out hot meals to refugees was organised with the support of the association’s German counterpart, Schuler helfen Leben, the World Organisation of Scouts and the Belgrade City Council.
“So far we have handed out 2,000 hot meals and we intend to distribute around 9,000 in total. We are following events closely and plan to extend this initiative if necessary,” Janković said, adding that the Scout Association of Serbia were grateful for the comprehensive support they received from the Belgrade city authorities.