Social Issues

Lines at food banks grow as inflation soars in Spain

By Karla Vanessa López

Madrid, Oct 14 (EFE).- The increase in food prices due to rising inflation driven by the war in Ukraine is causing lines at food banks to swell as more people fall into poverty in Spain.

According to social organizations, queues at food banks have grown in recent months, with a new profile of people waiting in line to receive a free meal and basic supplies.

Inflation in Spain has risen by 8.9% year-on-year while food prices have increased by 14.4% year-on-year, according to official statistics.

At the Madrina Foundation, an association that offers food and hygiene products to babies and their mothers, the number of applicants has grown by 30% in recent months, to an average of 250 people queuing in the street everyday.

“They are families who are in a hunger situation because they can’t find work and access to housing is very difficult,” Conrado Jiménez, president and founder of Madrina Foundation, tells Efe.

Jiménez adds that Ukrainian refugees are one of the new groups who find themselves in these circumstances. “They lost their homes, fled the war and ended up as ‘beggars,’” he says.

But it is not just Ukrainian refugee families in Spain who are struggling.

Karina Pozo has been unemployed for five months and is not able to make ends meet. She has come to the food bank to get some oil, rice, canned goods and other products for herself and her two young daughters.

“This aid is very helpful. Before, with 50 euros (about $48), I was able to afford the month’s shopping but now I can’t, everything is more expensive and more money is needed to buy things at the market,” she tells Efe.

Rocio, a Spanish mother of four, has come to a food bank for the first time ever.

“I live with my daughters in my father’s house, but as I don’t have a job, he can no longer support us. I am applying for housing for vulnerable people, but now I have no way to feed my girls with what is left over from the month,” she says.

The price of housing in Spain rose by 8.4% in September compared to the same month last year, according to data collected by Appraisal management company Tinsa.

Other associations and social aid foundations such as Caritas have also noted an increase of people in need of basic supplies.

“Although the demand is not yet generalized across the country, we are beginning to feel it more intensely in the big cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, where the price of housing is putting pressure on family budgets,” Raúl Flores, sociologist and coordinator of the Caritas research team, tells Efe. EFE


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