Sweden today: “Sometimes parents do not eat enough for their children to eat”

10:45 20.04.2023 •

“The destruction of the European economy – more and more Swedes can't afford food,” Swedish “Nya Dagbladet” writes.

In Örebro city alone, the number of people to whom Stadsmissionen donates food has increased by 400 in a couple of months. The organization says that more and more Swedes now can't even afford to buy basic necessities or eat their fill.

- For the target groups we meet, fuel and electricity are not the biggest problems, but food and household items are getting more expensive. If we look at essential goods such as pasta, eggs and diapers, they will skyrocket and far exceed the overall rate of inflation, Fredrik Karlsson, Örebro City Mission Director, says.

The City Mission Sweden's published annual report on poverty notes a sharp increase in the number of individuals and families who have to visit the organization's food centers across the country to get food on the table - many of whom were already living on a living wage before.

- The problem is that social support does not keep pace with inflation. Even before the inflationary shock of the past few months, support was too low to cover what families needed, Karlsson said.

- Unfortunately, we see that many have to prioritize. Sometimes parents do not eat enough for their children to eat, and sometimes children are sent to school hungry because they have lunch there and skip breakfast. This has huge implications, he continues.

He also believes that the Swedish welfare system is no longer "capable of supporting the most vulnerable" and that livelihood support, which should be temporary, in fact often becomes permanent, perpetuating poverty.

Magnus Karlsson, who has studied poverty in Sweden, also notes that food poverty has become so widespread in Sweden that many people are now completely dependent on donations from voluntary organizations, despite the fact that in fact the task of the state and municipalities is to cover the most basic needs of citizens.

…Soaring food prices and rising inflation are fueling poverty and malnutrition in Sweden, but also in the UK. There is reason to believe that the circle of European countries with similar problems will expand.


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