Some 700,000 Italian children deprived of enough food due to virus crisisEuropost
The coronavirus crisis in Italy is depriving around 700,000 children of sufficient food, Coldiretti, the country's main farmers' organisation said in a statement.
Economic hardship due to the health crisis had been made worse by the closure of schools, meaning that children from poor families no longer had access to canteen lunches, Coldiretti said. "The number of children under 15 that need assistance to get milk or food is now 700,000," the organisation stressed.
People being plunged into poverty by the crisis included dependents of seasonal and temporary workers, small business owners and tradesmen. Undocumented workers were also hard hit as typically they had no savings and did not qualify for state help.
Compounding the problem were rising food prices, with Coldiretti reporting an increase of 8.4% for fruit, 5% for vegetables and 4.1% for milk in April.
Meanwhile, hundreds of charitable associations across Italy are trying to help the poor. Coldiretti said 39% of Italians surveyed indicated they were ready to support their efforts with donations of money or food.