Beverley is taking our Holiday Hunger Challenge this week, 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 day 4 of the challenge has been like.
I had a busy day planned, so I was up at 6.30am and feeling tired. I ate my breakfast at 9 am, as I had a lot of eggs left which I used to make a Spanish omelette. It was really tasty, but it did include yet another tomato and no cheese. I was away from home working at lunch time and forgot to take a sandwich. Usually, I would have called in a shop and bought a sandwich from the supermarket, probably spending about £1.60, as I didn’t have any money to spend I had to wait till I got back home. I ate lunch at 2.30pm and I was very hungry by then, so I made a salad with the lettuce, tomato and the last quarter of the red pepper, the half tin of sardines and cooked a potato in the microwave, all quick to make – I ate it quickly too!
One of the things I have really noticed while being on this challenge is the amount of time I am having to spend organising my eating. I am finding that I think more about food, I am looking at the food in the fridge and am wondering if it will last me the week. I realise that I am lucky to know that I can go back to my usual food budget next week, but this planning, organisation and anxiety about food is real for so many people and it never ends for them. I am sure that most people manage their food budget very well, because they don’t have any choice.
I have been surprised by how the lack of choice and variety has affected me. It’s not just the reduced calorie intake (although I have lost weight), it’s eating the same food all the time and becoming bored with it. I have been looking at what there is in our local area to support families, there are community meals available, but it’s not always easy to find them. I volunteer at a community kitchen, and this has made me think about the choices available there. Usually, there is only one meal which feeds people. With little money for food, not only do they have little choice in the supermarket when they go out to eat they don’t have any choice either.