Appeals by families on low incomes for support in the form of basic goods such as food and clothing increased by more than 50 percent last year, according to the charity Child’s Smile (Hamogelo tou Paidiou).

Of the 1,745 families who requested help last year, half contacted the charity for the first time, suggesting that the repercussions of the debt crisis that first took hold in 2010 started to affect their daily lives -- and their ability to support their children -- last year.

According to the organization’s chairman, Costas Giannopoulos, many of the applicants had formerly been benefactors. Hara Grosdani, a social worker employed by Child’s Smile, noted that many of the families seeking help had not always been on low incomes. “In some cases, both parents lost their jobs relatively recently,” she said.

Support for the charity, which specializes in protecting children from abuse of all kinds, has risen significantly with hundreds calling the helpline daily.