Despite a jobless rate higher than 20 percent and more than 60,000 wage earners losing jobs each month with some 8,000 people slipping below the poverty line daily, more than 400 soup kitchens have started spontaneously. Volunteers are flocking to charity groups such as the Solidarity Network. While these efforts are extraordinary, the crisis mounts in terms of human suffering. People lacking basic food and minerals are beginning to appear. Most volunteers are from the classic middle class who prospered in recent years. They now feel they need to give back.
See Colin Barraclough, The Christian Science Monitor, May 8, 2002