A growing number of Germans are poor and depend on welfare. In 2007 one in 6 children depended on welfare. That is up from only one in 75 in 1965. Poverty rates seem to vary in different states, as in Bavaria only 3.9% suffer from poverty, while inBerlin 15.2% of the inhabitants are poor. Families that are headed by a single parent and working-class families with multiple children are most likely to be poor.
There is a discussion going on about hunger in Germany. Reverend Bernd Siggelkow, founder of the Berlin-based soup kitchen “Die Arche”, claimed that a number of German children go hungry each day.
He blamed the lack of jobs, low welfare payments, and parents who were drug-addicted or mentally ill. Siggelkow has been criticized by a number of people who said there was no hunger in Germany. SPD politician and board member of the German central bank Thilo Sarrazin said it was possible to live on welfare without going hungry if one did not buy fast food, but was able to cook from scratch. He was criticized by The Left politician Heidi Knake-Werner, who said it was not right that “well-off people told poor people how to shop”.
March 9, 2013