I do sympathize with folks who really can't afford or struggle to afford materials. I've been there in high school and college. But we will never help film survive by trying to make it cheap. We will help it survive be emphasizing the qualities and craft involved. It must be promoted among those who can afford it without worry about the cost. That's the only way the market is going to remain.
Manufacturers shouldn't fret about it but make the best materials they can possibly make, then charge what they need to charge to make a fair profit on them. Obviously there's a point where this wouldn't be true, for example if someone could market a paper that's marginally better than the second best paper but costs $10 per 8x10 sheet. But if you are anywhere near market prices, make a superior product and people will buy it. Witness Ilford's MGWT FB paper and Multigrade Art 300 papers. These are some of the most expensive papers available on the market, yet MGWT FB is wildly popular and Art is becoming popular. MGWT is perhaps the finest conventional fiber paper I've ever printed on. I currently use it when I want a warmer tone and Adox MCC 110 when I want a neutral tone, and that paper too is some of the most expensive available. Both are worth it.
Make it superb, charge what you need to charge, promote film among those who can afford to pay what it costs. This doesn't mean, of course, that one is unsympathetic or discouraging to those who can't. Perhaps groups can get together and buy in larger quantities. People can discuss techniques for saving materials. More importantly, people will learn to make each shot and each print count.