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 the last day of the challenge has been like.
I have made it to the end of the challenge. Sadly for many people, this will be an ongoing weekly challenge to feed themselves and their families.
I have just enough food to make meals and eat for my last day. Throughout the week, I ate meals similar to those that I usually eat, but I was hungry during the week. I didn’t have any money to eat out with friends, no money for snacks and not enough calories as I have lost 4lb. I ate a wide range of foods, but to eat more calories I would have had to swap some of the meat or fish for more bread, jam, biscuits or pastry.
I have looked around in my local area (we don’t have FoodCycle here), for places that I could get a cheap meal if I had young children, though there are some community meals, although none of these seem appropriate to take children to. Although, I may be wrong as there is definitely an awareness of Holiday Hunger in the area. Kirklees Council, for example, is supporting community groups to provide sessions during the summer holidays for children to get a meal.
I am working with a few charities and libraries to put on free weekly cook and eat sessions for families. Signing up for the food sharing app Olio might be a way to get spare food to families and I am looking for food businesses who would be happy for me to collect their surplus food for me to put it on Olio for people to collect.
This week has made me more aware of the difficulties and limitations of living on £17.50 for food and drink. There are lots of things that I usually take for granted. I am lucky to live within a 10 minute walk to a supermarket, a great food market and lots of discount stores, for many people this is a bus ride away, adding cost. I can plan and cook cheap healthy meals, I have a fridge, a cooker and a microwave and the cooking utensils that I need. I have family and friends who could help me out if I ran out of food or money for the gas. I am able to work, I have friends to go out with and can afford to join in trips with groups.
From this week I am going to look at how I can provide choices for people who come to the community meal, write out the recipes I used to share with others and develop the recipes to use with the families over the summer.
Thank you to FoodCycle for raising awareness of Holiday Hunger. I hope that you raise enough money to provide more meals during the summer, no child in 2018 should ever have to go hungry.