11,200 people in Luxembourg relied on services provided by Stëmm vun der Strooss (Voice of the Street) in 2023, the association said on Monday, amid rising poverty in the country.

The association, which provides help to people in need with meals, social services, medical assistance and also helps with reintegration, took stock of the last year in a press briefing, concluding that poverty in Luxembourg was exploding.

"These are not only people who live on the streets, but also those who can no longer make ends meet at the end of the month," says organisation spokesperson Arnaud Watelet.

3,800 more people required the association's services last year compared to the year prior, a sharp increase. It provided 100,000 meals four years ago, a number that rose to 200,000 in 2023, and is 40,000 more than 2022.

Families affected by poverty often make use of one of the association's social restaurants for meals. This may also explain why more minors are appearing in the statistics: 170 minors were registered last year (3.8%), as well as 460 young adults between the ages of 18-25.

The team produces up to 720 hot meals a day, opened a social restaurant in Ettelbruck last year and signed a partnership with a local food bank, which allowed it to recycle 189 tonnes of food. To cope with demand, unfortunately people were being limited to one hot meal per day, Watelet said.

The association calls for more structures in the country to cope with demand, such as more social restaurants. But this requires time, as Stëmm vun der Strooss says it is well aware of.

Read more:Luxembourg: Is tackling poverty a political priority?