Jonas Hamers / ImageGlobe

Record number of Belgians asking help from food banks

Belgian food banks helped a record number of people in poverty over the past six months. Their number rose to 170,000, a surge of 6,6 percent compared to the previous half year. "We are very concerned."

Last year already set a record, but Belgian food banks announced that they are helping another 10,000 people extra now. Seen over the past 20 years, the number of those asking the food banks for help, has doubled. 

Piet Vanthemsche, president of the Belgian Federation of Food Banks, explains that's mostly single-parent families who are seeking help. "About 75 percent of them are single mothers. However, we are also seeing more youngsters who come seek help." 

The food banks are concerned, not only because of the rising number of people finding it hard to make ends meet, but also because they may run into trouble themselves. "We are worried about the plans to cut European subsidies by half. Maybe we can't help the people any longer in that case."