• Spain's news in English

Catalonia eyes aid for 'poorly nourished' kids

AFP/The Local · 7 Jun 2013, 08:18

Published: 07 Jun 2013 08:18 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The programme is inspired by one already in place in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and Spain's second-largest city, which has already identified 2,800 students facing food shortages because of the economic downturn.

Catalonia's regional education ministry "is working on a protocol to target serious cases of food shortages among schoolchildren", the Catalan regional government said in a statement.

Catalonia's regional education minister, Irene Rigau, on Wednesday cited the example of Barcelona city hall which began drawing up a list of schoolchildren in need last year before the start of the current school year.

This system, which will be extended to the entire region, "was created with the desire to respond appropriately to situations that we can detect in schools, children who are not properly nourished" a spokeswoman for Barcelona city hall said on Thursday.

"They sometimes skip a meal for example, but in no case can we speak of malnutrition," she added.

Barcelona's social services, after a case by case analysis, concluded that most of the 2,800 schoolchildren were already receiving some form of state benefits and new support was only granted to 703 children and their families on the list.

Barcelona city hall has already doubled the amount allocated to canteen services to €5 million ($6.5 million) in the 2012–13 school year from €2.5 million in the previous school year.

Demand for state aid has increased since 2008, when Spain's economic crisis began, the Barcelona city hall spokeswoman said.

In Catalonia, 64,000 students receive aid in the canteen this school year, up from 56,900 at the beginning of Spain's economic crisis in the 2008–09 school year, according to Catalan regional government figures.

In similar news, Andalusia on Monday began providing some 11,000 children with milk and fruit for breakfast and a sandwich as an afternoon snack

That initiative is part of a package of measures approved by the regional government in Seville, run by the Socialist Party and the far-left United Left, on April 30th "to fight against social exclusion".

Story continues below…

The region already provides a free lunch to around 70,000 needy children

Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, is still struggling to overcome the aftermath of a property bubble that imploded in 2008, destroying millions of jobs and sending debt levels soaring.

The country's unemployment rate shot up to 27.16 percent in the first quarter of 2013, the highest level since Spain returned to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain’s Socialists lift veto on conservatives
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available