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 6 of the challenge has been like.
I had a quiet day today, starting off with a trip to the dentist, which cost £21.60 for a check up. If you lose your teeth it makes it harder to eat a healthy diet, but the dentist cost more than my food budget for the week!
I had a meeting with a colleague at 1.30pm, we had arranged to meet at a coffee shop, as its half way between where we both live. I had no money to buy a coffee or something to eat, so I ate my sandwich before I left home. She was already there when I arrived, luckily she had ordered something to eat and drink for herself. I just sat down, and said that I had just had lunch at home. I explained about the Holiday Hunger Challenge, and that I didn’t have any money for a drink. She would have bought me one if I had asked. I was also worried that the coffee shop staff might come over and take an order from me so I did feel a bit uncomfortable.
I have looked back at the meals I have eaten so far and they do look nice and colourful. I usually cook my meals from scratch as I enjoy cooking, so not having enough basics to make meals for the week was a challenge for me. I am a community food worker who supports people to cook, which has helped me this week. I have had enough food to eat three meals a day, they are similar to the meals that I usually eat, though smaller portions. I have used smaller bowls and plates this week to try to kid myself that there was plenty. At times I have been hungry and I could have eaten some more. It took a lot of willpower not to eat extra as that would have left me without food another day as I had no money to spend until Sunday. I have missed having the basics as well as the luxuries-mayo is now a luxury! I am also sure that I would have bought differently if I had to feed children.
Apart from the fruit that I snacked on, I had 7 fun size apples, oranges and bananas which I didn’t remember to photograph, I have missed out on eating with friends on a day trip, not had any snacks while I was out and about. I probably will have enough food to see me through Saturday- my last day of the challenge.