With rocketing food prices and the rising cost of living, even employed people are finding it hard to put food on the table.
This has prompted employees of a Durban accounting firm to continue to contribute a portion of their salaries every month, as they have been doing since 2006, to feed schoolchildren from poverty-stricken homes.
Their contribution enables the children at Zenzeleni and ML Sultan Black Burn, in Verulam, and Mount Edgecombe primary schools to have a hot and nutritious breakfast at school every morning.
Most of the children come from poor homes where the parents are unemployed or earn very little on the sugar cane fields.
Many of the children also are heads of their homes because they have been orphaned by HIV-Aids.
The teachers at the schools cried tears of joy when the Durban employees of the company committed themselves for a fourth year in a row to feed the needy children.
Project spokesman Nicholas John of the company said the employees were concerned about the conditions under which the children lived and wanted to do something about it.
"In 2006 we started contributing from our salaries, some donating up to R500 a month," John said. "The thought that the money has such a positive effect on the lives of these children is a great reward for us."