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Urban poor Malaysians forced to skip meals, sacrifice nutrition due to rising food costs

Dr James Nayagam, founder and chairman of Suriana Welfare Society, works closely with low-income families in Selangor and says they are finding it very difficult to cope.

“I have spoken to a number of families, and they do five things – they go for the cheapest cooking oil, the plastic packet ones; and they take on second jobs or overtime to supplement their income, which takes a lot of time away from their families.

“They are also cutting the quality of their meals to a very bare minimum, which is not very nutritious. They eat rice and eggs, or rice with one vegetable, with no meat. Some families I visited even resort to one meal per day, while there are those, including children, who skip breakfast and make do with only two meals a day.

“Fourthly, families with babies are trying to get the cheapest form of milk, if not, they resort to giving condense milk. So what we do is supply them with milk powder.

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