More than a quarter of Spaniards skip meals due to lack of money


This is according to the latest edition of the ‘Kellogg Report on Food Poverty in Spain’ conducted between January and February 2023.

The study provides insight into the causes of hunger among children. Additionally, through initiatives such as Kellogg’s school breakfast program “Todos a Desayunar” and partnerships with food banks, information has been collected to mitigate the negative effects of food poverty.

This is an update of a survey conducted in 2016 in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Belgium. It helps to observe changes in the situation in these countries, taking into account the impact of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic and other recent socio-economic events.

Spain stands positive in Europe

The data shows that Spain stands out positively from its European neighbours. Compared to France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland, although the situation has worsened in Spain since 2016, it is the country with the lowest number of households with intractable economic problems. It is 17.7%, 29.3% in the United Kingdom and 25.5% and 21.3% in France and Germany respectively.

Very affected

61% of Spaniards say that recent socio-economic events complicate their financial situation, with the most affected being households with incomes of less than €15,000, and a third (36%) reducing spending on essential goods and services. has decreased.

Additionally, a third of Spaniards say they worry about how much money they have for food. In 2016 it was still 19%. This upward trend can be seen in other neighboring countries as well. In Germany it rose from 8% in 2016 to 36% now, the highest figure among the countries analysed.

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Effects on children

According to the teachers, the number of hungry children coming to school has increased recently. In Spain, two out of three teachers (66%) believe that parents have a problem with the food budget. The reasons for this are economic conditions, rising food prices and difficulty in finding permanent employment.

In addition, Spanish teachers reported that children who experience hunger, fatigue, concentration problems, low mood and disruptive behavior in the classroom affect their performance.

Breakfast is often skipped

Despite the importance Spaniards place on breakfast, the number of people who skip breakfast in Spain has almost doubled, from 4% in 2016 to 7% in 2023. Most of them say they don’t eat breakfast. No hunger or no time, 5% say they don’t eat breakfast so other family members can eat breakfast and 3% say they can’t afford it.

For households with an income of less than 15,000 euros, these percentages are 14% and 5%, respectively. These data support the need and benefits of providing breakfast at school, as the Todos a Desayunor program has served approximately 10,000 children aged 4 to 12 years in 24 schools in 12 Spanish cities since 2011. “More than one million breakfasts have been served, improving children’s living conditions at school, at home, socially and personally,” said Kellogg.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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