Three million people are living in severe poverty in Spain, according to the Catholic charity Caritas.
This is double the figure reported in 2008, when the economic crisis began.
Often associated with the homeless, soup kitchens are seeing a wider range of people pass through.
One woman said she has to eat at soup kitchens because she can only work at the weekends and does not earn enough to live.
Another man says he only works sporadically, and has to live off government benefits.
The Caritas report said it had aided 1.3 million people in 2012, which is almost three times the number it helped four years earlier.
One soup kitchen manager said the situation was due to failings within Spanish society, but also the effect of poor political decisions surrounding social policy in recent years.
A Council of Europe report shares a similar conclusion. It blames Spain’s ongoing austerity programme for deepening the country’s poverty problem, saying it is breaching the human rights of vulnerable groups, such as children and those with disabilities.
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