Only school dinners for Spain's poorest children

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Only school dinners for Spain’s poorest children

By Marian Womack


One in three children are living in poverty in Spain. School meals are sometimes the only food they eat all day.( under a Creative Commons Licence)

Last year, thousands of primary schools around Spain stayed open in the summer holidays to give food to their students. And they are going to do it again this summer. For many, it’s the only meal they will get all day.

There is more poverty and more cuts. The economy is not moving (but politicians say it is getting better). A new UNICEF report says that 30 per cent of children in Spain live below the poverty line.

A quarter of the population is unemployed and the gap between the rich and the poor is growing. Parents try to keep life normal for their children, but there is less help from the government when they have problems. They can fall into poverty very quickly.

'I don’t want my two sons to grow up thinking that they’re poor,' says Catalina González to Inter Press Service. Six months ago they had to leave an old apartment building with 12 other families who couldn’t pay the rent. Now at least this family has a home, but they had to spend months cleaning and repairing the home when they moved in.

Spain now has the second-highest level of child poverty in the whole of Europe, after Romania.

Maybe because of this, Spain is not happy about Romanians moving to their country to have a better life.

There is a Spanish idiom: when you see your neighbour cutting his beard, start washing your beard. This means: if you see other people with problems, don’t think you are safe. Spain’s social system is getting worse very quickly. And the poor always lose.

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