Day 13
One small meal for a disadvantaged child in Germany

Small meal – big impact! Small meal – big impact!

Child poverty in Germany

When Mateo and his sister Vanessa leave their home, their poverty is not immediately apparent. They do not wear torn clothes, they have toys and go to school on a regular basis. Only upon looking a little closer look does it become noticeable that the two siblings do not get a balanced diet and are not in the best of health; they have fewer educational opportunities and suffer from social exclusion. Like Mateo and Vanessa, 2.7 million children in Germany are affected by poverty (5th Report on Poverty and Wealth of the Federal Government, 2017). Support from the community can help them to improve their situation. Examples of such an enabling environment are open child and youth institutions organizations that offer guidance to children like Mateo and Vanessa as they grow up and where they can take part in many free leisure and educational activities after school and get healthy meals. Together with the teachers, they do their homework, are supported and strengthen their their everyday life skills.



Food and nutritional competency for children affected by poverty in Germany.



At the open children and youth facilities, educators prepare small meals together with the children and young people and eat with them.

Countable effort


Number of small meals prepared and eaten by the children.



Children eat a healthy diet, are able to concentrate better and expand their knowledge of nutrition.

Systemic effect


The development opportunities of children affected by poverty in Germany improve.


Child poverty is one of the greatest social challenges in Germany. According to the official reports of the German Federal Government, 2.7 million children are currently growing up in poverty (5th Poverty and Wealth Report of the Federal Government, 2017). In other words, every fifth child in Germany. A long-term study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation shows that it is unlikely that children will rise out of such circumstances of poverty (Tophoven et al., 2017). For the children affected by poverty, serious effects can be seen in all essential areas of life. These include areas of basic provision such as food, clothing, health, housing or the child’s bedroom. But the social contacts of children and their behaviour in interpersonal relationships are also influenced by poverty (ChassĂ©, 2010). The children in question often lack important experiences which are taken for granted by many other children and adults. These include, in particular, the absence of moments of light-heartedness in a life burdened by numerous worries and fears. Due to their poverty, these children experience social exclusion, which often turns them into long-term outsiders in our society.

The good deed

Your good deed makes it possible to provide poverty-stricken children and young people in German cities with a healthy meal. With your support, they learn to cook something healthy and eat together after school in a youth welfare service organization. This meal allows them to not be hungry and to be receptive to the variety of afternoon activities offered by the organization. These include sports and music projects and often homework assistance. The tutoring helps the children to follow up on the lessons of the week in order to be able to keep up with the lessons at school. Since most families cannot afford tutoring, the open children and youth facilities are important places to go to for these children.







Number of inhabitants

46.946 $

46.946 $

Gross domestic product per capita per year

Placed 4th out of 189

Placed 4th out of 189

Human Development Index

Among single parents in Germany, the poverty rate is by far the highest at over 40 per cent. This most of all affects women, who make up 90 per cent of this group. (Aust et al., 2018)