Low-income households have experienced a noteworthy surge in underspending on essential food items since October 2020. They have been forced to resort to cheaper alternatives, which often consist of processed and unhealthy food choices, as food prices surge.

This trend is captured in a new study, the maize meal porridge index, developed by the Centre for Risk Analysis to determine the effect of food inflation on low-income households. Centre for Risk Analysis senior economist Mlondi Mdluli said there had been a consistent upward trend in the total cost of maize meal porridge since October 2020...

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