"So pervasive is the problem of scavenging that one Spanish city has resorted to installing locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution."The need to ask for help is deeply embarrassing, Daley write.
Some families go to food banks in neighboring towns so their friends and acquaintances will not see them.
One Catholic charity reported that in 2011 it had fed more than double the number of citizens it had assisted in 2007.
A massive protest is planned for today to protest the government's austerity measures.
Read Daley's full report on NYTimes.com.