Hunger and malnutrition continue to pose a huge threat to millions of individuals across the globe. Many do not think of Poland when it comes to hunger, but that doesn’t mean hunger doesn’t exist in the country. While thankfully the percent of individuals who suffer from hunger is rather low, a majority of those who do suffer from hunger and malnutrition are children. Here are five facts about hunger in Poland.
5 Facts About Hunger in Poland
- The percent of individuals in Poland living in hunger has been stagnant since 2000. As of 2017, Poland has seen 2.5% of its population living in hunger. While this is a huge feat on its own, this percent has not increased since 2000–Poland has had only 2.5% of its population live in hunger for almost two decades. This ranks Poland among countries with the lowest hunger rates.
- Almost 120,000 children in Poland go to school hungry, according to a Polish foundation called A Piece of Heaven. By not having proper nourishment, students’ ability to perform well in both educational and extracurricular activities can be affected. Luckily, organizations such as A Piece of Heaven are dedicated to help improve the nutrition of Polish children. Most specifically, the organizations help children dealing with sickness and or living in poverty. Through their work, A Piece of Heaven has helped 150,000 individuals.
- 170,000 children in Poland suffer from malnutrition. While hunger may not be a large risk, malnutrition has affected Polish children at a higher rate. Malnutrition often poses a problem in rural areas of Poland, where poverty levels are higher. Because their families face financial afflictions, oftentimes nutritious food and resources are more difficult to acquire. Malnutrition in childhood can cause developmental irregularities in the central nervous system, struggles with mental health and underweight body mass.
- Much of the hunger in Poland is due to poverty. While of course poverty and hunger are not directly connected, Warsaw’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetic with Clinic of Metabolic Diseases and Gastroenterology has estimated that much of Poland’s hunger is due to poverty. They also suggest that poverty not only affects rates of hunger, but also malnutrition. Those living below the poverty line have limited access to more nutritionally balanced food with a higher price tag.
- 23,000 children living in Warsaw suffer from starvation. While Poland does have one of the lowest rates of hunger in the world, A Piece of Heaven estimates that tens of thousands of children go hungry each day in the nation’s capital. Because hunger in Poland does not pose a large issue in a global light, many are unaware of this tragic reality. Many of these children are living in poverty, though, and have little to no food with nutritional value.
While Poland has made great efforts to keep the percentage of individuals living in hunger down, there is more to be done. This is especially true for children living in poor, rural areas. Through help from organizations bringing food to malnourished and hungry children, hopefully Poland’s hunger rate that has stayed stagnant for so long can now begin to decrease even more.
– Olivia Eaker