As a volunteer who helps run a soup kitchen in Paola, PN candidate Ivan Bartolo has come face to face with people in their most desperate times.
One that comes to mind is that of a 68-year-old woman who was forced into prostitution in order to have enough money to buy food.
“She did it to eat, not to buy luxury goods,” Bartolo said. “When she came up to me, I looked down and didn’t know what to say.”
Bartolo’s story is one of many sad and revealing stories of poverty in Malta published in Ħerġin, a new Nationalist Party video that highlights individual candidates.
Candidate James Aaron Ellul said he knows a mother who lives in a basement with her son and has to beg for help buying him school supplies, and MP Karl Gouder said he met a couple of people elderly who lives in a house with only an old sink and stove.
Robert Arrigo said he met a couple who have to make do with a pension of €460 a month and whose Christmas Eve lunch was just a packet of crisps between them, while Jason Azzopardi expressed his shock at to the high cost of basic foodstuffs.
An emotional Julie Zahra said she knew an elderly couple who were struggling to care for their two young granddaughters, replacing their daughter who is at Mount Carmel.
“You realize how many people need help and how much poverty there is,” she said. “I can’t turn my head and not care about them.”
In your opinion, how serious is the problem of poverty in Malta?