Why income lacks to ensure household food security: Needs and challenges identified by consumers from a rural community, South Africa
This study (PDF) in the International Journal of Consumer Studies aimed to gain an understanding of the challenges and needs experienced by households with different food security statuses. Inadequate supply of healthy food impacts negatively on household food consumption and well‐being. Disproportionate income distribution in South African households results in several households that lack daily consumption of adequate healthy foods and reliance on low‐cost staple foods. Households are confronted by various challenges, and reliance on highly processed staple foods is a public health concern. Results revealed that households had experienced insufficient food supply to such an extent that the household was at risk of becoming food insecure or actually insecure among medium and high‐income groups. Food insecure households indicated a significantly higher consumption of food which they do not necessarily prefer, limited portion sizes and they borrowed money to purchase food. Households in the middle‐income group applied this coping behaviour. It is thus clear that income alone is not enough to ensure food security. Participants indicated a need for budgeting and basic food knowledge. Promoting self‐production, skills and knowledge regarding basic food needs may play a significant role to support households’ food consumption and improve household food security. Future developments must aim at sustainable intervention programmes to support household food utilisation and management to enhance consumers’ well‐being through education.