Economic hardship due to the health crisis had been made worse by the closure of schools meaning that children from poor families no longer had access to canteen lunches, Coldiretti said.
“The number of children under 15 that need assistance to get milk or food is now 700,000,” it said in a statement.
People being plunged into poverty by the crisis included dependents of seasonal and temporary workers, small business owners and tradesmen, it said.
Undocumented workers were also hard hit as typically they had no savings and did not qualify for state help.
Southern Italy was most-affected by the increase in numbers of those facing hardship.
Compounding the problem were rising food prices, with Coldiretti reporting an increase of 8.4% for fruit, 5.0% for vegetables and 4.1% for milk in April.
Meanwhile, hundreds of charitable associations across Italy are trying to help the poor.
Coldiretti said 39% of Italians surveyed indicated they were ready to support their efforts with donations of money or food. – Rappler.com