Wikimedia/US Department of Agriculture
It may be surprising to think of a situation where children might not have enough food to eat but still have the option of voluntary summer school, but needy parents in Spain have been signing their children up for summer school classes to make sure their children get lunch for the day.
Welfare groups have said that many children are suffering in Spain due to the recession and high rate of child poverty. According to The Local, schools and pediatricans have said that childhood malnutrition is a huge problem, so when summer came, some regional governments decided to keep schools open to make sure the students would have food during the summer.
"Our basic aim was to guarantee that they get fed," said Magdalena Sanches, head of social services in Andalusia.
At a recent graduation ceremony for 20 children between the ages of six and 14, the children were fed a lunch of gazpacho, fish, bread, and flan. Without the lunches that came with the summer school classes, many parents said their children would not have gotten adequate nutrition.
"Things are going very badly and we need this help," one mother said. "I am happy with a chunk of bread, but children need to eat meat and fish. They need nutrition."
During the summer classes, the children played and had lessons to help them start the next school term. Any food that was left over from the daily lunch was sent home.
"Some families tell us they really need their child to come here to eat," said summer school organizer Blanca Garcia-Tapial. "Most of them aren't starving, but they are malnourished."