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Germany: More people unable to afford good meals

July 31, 2023

A growing number of people in Germany cannot afford to eat meals with meat, fish or a vegetarian equivalent on a daily basis, figures show. Single parents are most at risk of being unable to pay for adequate nourishment.

Sauerbraten — marinaded meat with dumplings on a plate
Traditional German dishes like this are no longer affordable fare for a segment of the population Image: Bernd Jürgens/Shotshop/picture alliance

More than 11% of people in Germany are too poor to eat fully rounded meals even every two days, with meat, fish or equivalent vegetarian alternatives putting in only rare appearances on their dinner tables, according to new data.

The figures for 2022, published by German corporate newsroom Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland on Monday, showed a rise of 0.9% from the previous year to 11.4% — translating to some 10 million people who often lack proper meals.

The statistics were requested by the parliamentary party of Germany's socialist opposition Left Party.

What did the figures show?

More than one in 10 people in Germany (11.4%) were unable to afford meals containing meat, poultry, fish or a vegetarian equivalent at least every second day in 2022, according to the EU statistical office Eurostat.

That figure rises to 19.3% among single parents — an increase of 2.6% over the year before.

What has been the reaction?

The leader of the Left Party parliamentary group, Dietmar Bartsch, accused the coalition government of doing nothing to counter the "price explosions for food."

"The supermarket has become a rip-off stronghold," he said. "The higher the price, the higher the quota of pasta with ketchup," he added. 

He called for an at least temporary suspension of sales tax on essential food items and for the state to control supermarket pricing.

Bartsch also pointed out that children were among those particularly suffering, and demanded the introduction of a guaranteed basic child allowance.

Germany, like many other countries around the world, has seen high inflation in recent times, partly due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

tj/wmr (dpa, epd)

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