This paper presents an analysis of the welfare consequences of recent increases in food prices in Mexico using micro-level data. We estimate a QUAIDS model of demand for food, using data collected to evaluate the conditional cash transfer programmes Oportunidades. We show how the poor have been affected by the recent increases and changes in relative prices of foods. We also show how a conditional cash transfer programme provides a means of alleviating the problem of increasing staple prices, and simulate the impact of such a policy on household welfare and consumer demand. We contrast this policy with alternative policy responses, such as price subsidies, which distort relative prices and are less well-targeted.