Beverley is taking our Holiday Hunger Challenge in the first week of July. She will be living off a food and drink budget of just £2.50 a day to raise awareness of food poverty in the UK, especially during the school holidays which can push many families into food insecurity and poverty. Here she shares what it’s been like so far:
“I found shopping difficult, I had to make a lot of choices. I have none of the items that I think make eating more enjoyable, no cakes, biscuits or coffee, I didn’t have enough to buy any mixed herbs or chilli’s to flavour food, so I will just have the veg stock cubes for flavouring. I couldn’t afford sugar or flour so I cant make any biscuits or scones. I usually cook from scratch, so I have chosen foods to make meals with. I need to try and eat three good meals as I have nothing for snacks. The best buy was the chicken thighs, there were 8 in the pack, so four meals of chicken.
I can see that I may soon be bored with the choices. My worry is that I will run out of food, but this is how I imagine people on a low income feel all the time. I have only 3p left so I can’t buy any more food for myself until next Monday. I am also just using the hob and the microwave for cooking so I don’t need to use the oven.
I am missing my coffee, I usually have 8 cups a day. Instead, I am drinking tea, I never drink tea normally, I was able to buy a small pack of 30 and I am using each tea bag twice.
I am going on a trip tomorrow, I will be taking a pack up, while other people in the group will buy their lunch in the café. I also will have to take some bottles of tap water as I don’t have any money to buy anything when I am there, I also can’t have an ice cream. I have only completed one day but have already realised some of the difficulties that many people face and what I usually take for granted. It has impacted on my social life and I wonder how many people turn down events because they might be asked to pay for something when they get there.
I am working on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday running cooking sessions, so I will be taking a pack up. I will tell the groups about the challenge, most of the groups I am working with are on low incomes, so they will understand the difficulties people face during the holidays.
I also realised today that I am volunteering at the community centre on Thursday afternoon, preparing a meal for 25 people, I don’t even have a £1 for a main course for myself.”