Shopping at a market in Managua, sewing machine operator Maria Concepcion Ramos says she hopes relief will come soon. She and her husband, a house painter, earn a combined $220 a month.
Rising food prices have affected them and their three children significantly. Maria crosses out a list of products the family can no longer afford to eat: meat (including chicken), butter, coffee and the thick cream Nicaraguans eat with plantains.
"It's nothing but gallo pinto (beans and rice) for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” she sighs.
She describes what is happening in her neighbourhood: “Families are serving up half-empty plates or skipping meals altogether. Hard lives have become even harder.”
The Ramoses are more fortunate than many Nicaraguans. They have two incomes and are still eating three times a day.
By Karla Jacobs
Leaders have come up with a package of measures to boost food production, Megan Rowling reports.