Number of Belgians using food aid skyrocketed during lockdown

Number of Belgians using food aid skyrocketed during lockdown
Credit: Belga

The number of people who used food aid between February and April increased by 52.6%, the Federal Public Planning Service for Social Integration (PPS Social Integration) notes on Thursday.

PPS Social Integration conducted a survey among the Public Social Welfare Centres (CPAS). In total, 59,972 beneficiaries were registered in April.

The number of recipients of so-called social integration allowance rose by 3.2% during the same period, making a total of 153,278 people in April. The number of people who used social assistance (financial or material aid for which the federal government has no power to intervene, such as unpaid bills and debt mediation) also reached 153,278 people.

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A number of decisions were taken to support the CPAS in their mission during the coronavirus pandemic, including a subsidy of €125 million. The subsidy for food aid doubled from €3 million to €6 million.

The federal government has also increased its contribution to the reimbursement of the integration income paid by the CPAS by 15%. In addition, a temporary bonus of €50 is granted for 6 months to those with a social integration allowance.

"The first trends in the monitoring set up by the PPS Social Integration confirm that the measures taken so far were necessary. We must continue to be extremely attentive to the evolution of the situation,” said Social Integration Minister Denis Ducarme.

“Finally, from my point of view, alongside the economy, the recovery will also have to be social,” Ducarme said.

The Brussels Times

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