Covid-19: Families living on low incomes may be spending 30% more on food than they did two months ago.

Low-income families have increased their spending on food by more than 30% since March when the national Covid-19 lockdown began. This according to a report published by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group (PEJDG) . The group collected its food price data from five supermarkets and four butcheries that serve poor households in areas across Pietermaritzburg, GroundUp reported. Whilst the price of foods in the supermarket trollies of families living on low incomes continues to increase, with the Household Food Basket having increased by 7,8% (R250) between March 2020 and May 2020, these increases pale into insignificance because women are now having to buy more food. Lockdown restrictions have meant that with children and workers at home, food runs out quicker (after two weeks) and women can no longer shop around for the cheapest prices. The research suggests that families living on low incomes may be spending 30% (R973,93) more on food in May 2020 than they did two months ago. Government’s decisions on responding to the pandemic via hard lockdown and the specific regulations related to these, is impacting on, and changing expenditure patterns and consumer behaviours of households living on low incomes very significantly.