According to a Caritas survey, families spend more than € 100 a month on food compared to 2020.

Family EuropeanCompared to 2020, there are more than 100 foods each month, a new study by Caritas Malta shows.

Caritas Malta, an NGO, published a 2022 MiniMEBDL research study. It refers to the minimum basic budget for a decent life, which has shown that food and medicine prices for low-income households have risen significantly.

NGO Director Anthony Gatto announced the investigation to the media on Tuesday morning. This included the prices of essential foods and medicines packed in baskets.

The survey includes prices up to February 2022 and does not include inflation caused by the Ukrainian conflict, Gut said.

“The study reflected a variety of impacts, including the Covid-19 pandemic, including items specially purchased for the pandemic,” he said.

Professor Suzanne Piscopo of the University of Malta talked about a study focusing on three different types of families. Two adults and two dependents, a single parent and two dependents, and an elderly couple aged 65 and over. These families were classified as low-income families.

According to Piscopo, the study identifies and prices baskets of goods and services that help these families maintain a basic yet decent quality of life.

Compared to the 2020 survey, the cost of food baskets increased by 17.75% annually for two adults and two children, rising from € 7121.38 in 2020 to € 8385.60 in 2022, an increase of € 1264.22. ..

The food basket contains a 7-day menu consisting of fresh fruit and vegetable and other food essentials from three different regions: supermarkets, local fruit and vegetable vendors, and Takari farmers markets. increase.

Due to different family types, single parents with two children increased their annual costs by 22.20%, while older couples increased by 24.92%.

Vegetable and fruit prices were found to be the cheapest at Takari’s farmers markets (31.31 euros), but the highest were from fruit and vegetable sellers (37.59 euros).

The medicine and health care item basket contains a list of basic medicines and other health care products used by the general family, as well as items that help protect against the spread of the virus and manage mild symptoms. -19 Included the addition of a protective package. These included a disposable mask (once a day per person) disinfectant (6/9/12 100 ml bottles per year) and paracetamol containing two additional boxes per household per year. ..

A family of two adults and two children increased the annual cost of medicines and healthcare baskets by 15.72% compared to 2020. In this regard, elderly couples were the most affected, with an increase of 36.37%.

In addition to the Covid-19 package, there was an even greater cost increase in healthcare baskets. The monthly cost of a basket without a Covid-19 package for the average family was € 29.60, but the cost increased to € 99.43 with the addition of the Covid-19 package.

According to Piscopo, the cost of food baskets increased by 18% to 25% over the two years, with the highest increase being for older couples (25%).

Piscopo also said that medicines and healthcare baskets increased by 12% to 36%, and older couples again suffered the highest increase. Piscopo said this was due to the low incomes of the elderly.

The addition of Covid-19-related items could mean that low-income families are refraining from paying these costs due to financial difficulties, Piscopo said.

Caritas has also made some recommendations to help raise these prices, including food banks. It means setting up a hub to collect wasted food.

Piscopo also recommended the development of lean food apps that connect low-income families with sources of extra or soon-to-be-expired food that is wasted in cafes and the like.

Among some recommendations, access to health foods, including extensions to the FEAD scheme, was proposed to include a complementary scheme for the regular serving of fresh foods and vegetables. Weekly delivery plans for supplemental vegetables and fruits for the elderly were also recommended.

Better access to the farmers’market was recommended, Piscopo said, saying that more areas where farmers’ markets are organized need to be added and direct buses from each major town to the Takari farmers’ market need to be added on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Added.

Piscopo also recommended the introduction of health food prescriptions, which are vouchers of health foods prescribed by doctors at the onset of chronic illness, instead of immediate high-dose medications.

Rebates of medicines for low-income earners were also recommended, according to Piscopo.

Piscopo said a survey needs to be conducted to show price increases, especially in the food category, reflecting the National Bureau of Statistics statistics in this regard. According to a Caritas survey, families spend more than € 100 a month on food compared to 2020.

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