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Spain ‘hunger queues’: Food lines grow as inflation skyrockets

Lines dubbed 'hunger queues' can be seen regularly outside food banks across Spain.

A large percentage of people in Spain are turning to food aid as soaring inflation across the country has pushed food prices to a record high.

According to the National Statistics Institute, an independent administrative autonomous institution, Spanish food prices jumped 15.4 percent in October to mark their biggest increase in nearly three decades.

Spanish farmers have had to cope with a 77 percent increase in energy prices due to the energy crisis across Europe exacerbated by the Ukraine war.

The cost of living crisis has put more than 13 million residents in the country on the verge of poverty with inflation impacting the purchasing power of the poorest households the most, according to an independent charitable organization Oxfam.

According to a study published earlier this year by the University of Barcelona, one in seven households in the country suffers from inadequate access to food due to low income.

Single mothers, families with children, and older people dependent on state pensions have turned to food banks for support, skipping meals to make ends meet.

Food banks in the country provide help to over 1.35 million, yet are struggling to meet the growing demand as global food and fuel costs spiral.

Faced with growing food lines, soaring inflation and a cost of living crisis, the Spanish government has tried to ease the conditions by spending billions of Euros on extra welfare spending. 

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government has introduced an additional €3 billion ($2.9 billion) in government aid to reduce household energy bills. The socialist government has also introduced subsidies for transport and a 15 percent increase in pensions for the most vulnerable.

But charities that work with the poor say the measures are not enough, as dubbed "hunger queues", can be seen regularly outside of other food banks across the country.

Soaring inflation and high energy prices have sparked mass protests and strikes across the European Union in recent weeks.

Since the start of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine in late February, disruption in supply chains has led to higher fuel and food prices, driving inflation to record levels and causing the cost of living to soar.

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