As food prices soar in Lithuania, an increasing number of people are finding it difficult to afford basic necessities. While the government touts efforts to boost incomes, experts warn that these

measures are insufficient to keep pace with inflation.

Over the past couple of years, food prices in Lithuania have surged by 40 percent. A recent survey commissioned by the Lithuanian National Anti-Poverty Network revealed that 14 percent of respondents now struggle to afford food, marking a 2 percent increase from the previous year.

The situation is particularly dire for those earning below 500 euros per month. Last year, 23 percent of this demographic reported difficulty affording food, a figure that has risen to 30 percent this year.

"People are prioritizing utility bills, leaving little for food. Many are relying on supermarket promotions and turning to charitable organizations for assistance," explained Aistė Adomavičienė, head of the National Anti-Poverty Network.

Irma Zabulionytė, head of the Panevėžys Family House, highlighted the struggles faced by pensioners and others living on meager incomes. "Surviving on 200 euros per month is a challenge," she remarked.

The issue extends beyond pensioners to include the unemployed, single parents, and large families, according to NGOs. Jekaterina Navickė, associate professor at Vilnius University, noted that Lithuanians spend an average of 20 percent of their income on food, one of the highest proportions in the EU.

While Social Security and Labour Minister Monika Navickienė emphasized increases in pensions and social benefits, NGOs argue that social protection remains underfunded, especially in light of inflation. They advocate for tax reform to address income disparities.

After food, housing and transport represent the highest expenditure for Lithuanians, according to the State Data Agency. As the cost of living continues to rise, many in Lithuania face ongoing financial challenges in meeting their basic needs. Photo by Bryan Ledgard, Wikimedia commons.