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CIA: 65% of Italian families buying less food

Staff writer ▼ | October 31, 2014
Some 28.4% of people living in Italy were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013, national statistics agency Istat said.
Italy food
Very very bad news   The Italian association of agriculturalists (CIA)
The figure, contained in a report on earnings and life conditions, actually represented an improvement on 2012, when the percentage of Italian residents facing poverty or exclusion was 29.9%. Istat said last year the risk of poverty or exclusion dropped for elderly people living alone from 41.7% to 38.3% and for couples with one child from 24.3% to 21.7%.

However it increased for families with three or more children, from 39.8% to 43.7%, the agency added. The risk was even higher for families with three or more children under 18 or with a single source of income, respectively at 45.4% and 46.1%.

On a geographical basis people living in southern Italy were at greatest risk of poverty or social inclusion, according to the same study. Last year 46.2% of people living in southern regions faced poverty or exclusion, Istat said. However, as for the national statistics, this figure was also down on 2012, by 3.7%.

Meanwhile a separate study by farmers' association Coldiretti, also published on Thursday, said that the number of Italians requiring food aid rose from 2.7 million in 2010 to just over 4 million in 2013 as Italy struggled to emerge from its longest and deepest recession since the Second World War.

Specifically last year 303,485 people ate charity soup kitchen meals and a further 3,764,765 - particularly pensioners, the unemployed and families with small children - received assistance in the form of food parcels, Coldiretti said. However, Coldiretti stressed that the figures represented only the tip of the iceberg, with many more Italians having difficulty securing adequate nutrition.

According to Istat, for example, 14.2% of families are unable to afford a meal with an adequate protein content at least once every two days. Likewise the Italian agriculturalists' association CIA highlighted the fact that 65% of Italian families have reduced the quality and quantity of food purchased in the last year. This figure rises to 77% in southern regions, CIA added.