Prof Dr Euis Sunarti: During The Pandemic, 77,5 Percent of Families Spend Less on Food

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the government and the people of Indonesia to adjust in order to protect themselves from the impact of the virus. Big changes are felt especially with the existence of the Large Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) that limited the activities and work of many of families.

The consequence of these events includes the reduction of families’ income, leading to a disruption in fulfilling their basic needs, especially food. Prof Dr Euis Sunarti, a professor from the Department of Family and Consumer Science, Faculty of Human Ecology (IKK-Fema) did an online survey regarding family security during the COVID-19 pandemic in the April to June 2020 period.

“The goal of this survey is to elaborate food strategy done by families. Food coping strategies done to combat uncertain times in order to keep the family intact, be it in food consumption and making money,” said the esteemed professor in the Family Security and Empowerment field.

The survey showed that the majority of the respondents were those who have completed higher education (Diploma, S1, S2, S3), as much as 83 percent in the first survey and 74 percent in the second survey. Looking from the data, coping strategies of the respondents (77,5% of respondents) chose to save food spending for the family. 59,7% chose to buy cheaper costing food. 

“Aside from that, as much as 79,6 percent of families does not reduce food portions, 76,6 percent do not look for information in food support and 50,6 percent does not reduce the types of food they consume,” she mentions.

In the second month, food strategies that respondents apply does not significantly change, and even a higher percentage of respondents now buy cheaper costing food, to 69%

Based on the data, Prof Euis concludes that respondents tend to apply similar food coping strategies. As much as 7-8 out of 10 families spend less on food. Followed by families who buy cheaper costing food, done by 6-7 out of 10 families. As much as half the families reduce the types of food they consume, look for food support information and lastly reduced food portions were done by 1 out of 5 families.

The data shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the continuity of family welfare. Food being one of the most basic household need, it can be seen as an indicator of family welfare. If a family is experiencing food insecurity, it shows that there’s a lack of family security. Food insecurity in the 2 months of the pandemic contributes highly to family economic welfare insecurity.

She has mentioned that the results are fairly similar to surveys done that shows 53 percent of families only have savings for less than 2 months of fulfilling the family’s needs. While these families are of high education, the surveys show how urgent and crucial family development, family friendly development, especially increasing family economic security for all layers of Indonesian society. (IAAS/RCD)

Published Date : 04-Nov-2020

Resource Person : Prof Dr Euis Sunarti

Keyword : IPB University Esteemed Professor, Family food security, Family food security strategy, Family empowerment, IPB Professor