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Britain's Hidden Hunger

(273 Posts)
KanelbulleKing Fri 08-Nov-19 11:09:09

Just watching this on catch up and I'm sobbing. How has Britain sunk so low as a country that children are frightened of school holidays because they know they'll be hungry? Children thinking it's Christmas because their family has received a few bags of basic food items?

The existence of food banks in one of the richest countries in the world is a national disgrace. My MIL is knocking on 80 and spends her spare time peeling potatoes and carrots for the lunches her church provides for anyone who needs them. She should be putting her feet up and being served herself but she won't because she's too worried about her 'guests' going hungry.

Time for change?

TheHodgeoftheHedge Fri 08-Nov-19 11:14:17

I have to admit I had a similar moment.
We have had rather a lot of food left over from a big family party recently so I was looking into donating it to a local food bank. We live in a fairly affluent area and it broke my heart to realise that our town's food bank fed over 150 kids in the month of September. Something has to change.

pinkblushrose Fri 08-Nov-19 11:17:31

I haven’t seen it. I suppose part of the problem is it’s just got very expensive to live.

KanelbulleKing Fri 08-Nov-19 11:21:59

One of the volunteers raised a good point. If the majority of people they feed are families with young children, why aren't the government looking into what has gone wrong. Because if children are reliant on food banks then something has gone very wrong.

KanelbulleKing Fri 08-Nov-19 11:23:55

The answer of course is that they're not looking into it because they don't care.

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Fri 08-Nov-19 11:25:12

Desperate families are very easy to manipulate, that is why it's happening.
It's not an accident it's by design as it helps control.

anniemac1 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:25:52

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Needallthesleep Fri 08-Nov-19 11:27:10

It’s heartbreaking and shouldn’t be happening. I would support a rise in taxes, to support people properly, and support the NHS.

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Fri 08-Nov-19 11:30:08

Well I'm going to get shot down for this but here goes.

You will.

Luxuries have become necessity, unfortunately we live in a consumerist society driven by capitalism, and marketing works.

anniemac1 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:35:58

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GwenCooper81 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:36:50

I've watched it this morning and cried as well. It's 2019 Ffs. How is this happening. So so sad.
The lady with the twins being housed miles from her family broke my heart. To see her pensioner mum almost in tears really was awful.
To be honest none of them seemed to have massive tellies or expensive gadgets.
The final woman works (volunteers) in a cafe. So she can obvi2cook. Very hard to batch cook or eat healthy filling food when you have limited food and are watching the electric metre for the last pounds going down..
The lady with 5 kids was doing a cooking course.. She also hoped to gain qualifications. Then hopefully become a journalist.
Bloody horrible to see that 10 year old saying it was 'like Christmas' to see her table with food on sad

anniemac1 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:43:10

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EmmiJay Fri 08-Nov-19 11:44:31

@anniemac Its all good telling people to learn how to cook, but you need gas and electric to run appliances to cook. The basic utility cost is so very high for alot of people. This plus school dinners, bus fares, tv licence, most likely contributing to rent, repairs/replacements maybe, other bills, 'shopping' and doing all of this with roughly between £60 - £200 or so a week. Its not balanced.

SweetPetrichor Fri 08-Nov-19 11:45:34

I agree with @anniemac1 It's not going to be a popular opinion but I think a large factor of this is down to an inability to make their money work.

You can make cheap wholesome meals for pennies. Soups, stews, even pasta. A tin of value tomatoes, a pinch of dried mixed herbs if you have them, bit of sugar if you want it sweeter and you've got a pasta sauce. Porridge made with water is a cheap and filling breakfast. Soup and stew can be made with pretty much anything - whatever is currently cheap. You can eat for next to nothing if you know what you're doing. It's not the most interesting meals but it's nourishing and filling. Too many people just don't understand the importance of cooking from scratch, having a basic pantry of essentials - and I'm not talking much...salt, pepper, mixed herbs, maybe chilli powder/cumin/paprika if you can stretch to it. You can make so much with very little.

DryHeaving Fri 08-Nov-19 11:45:41

I don't think you should get shot down in flames @anniemac1 you are speaking from what you experienced

KanelbulleKing Fri 08-Nov-19 11:48:52

and this thread is about being a good parent and looking after your own children.

No it isn't. It's about the fact that Britain as a nation is failing its children. The UN predicts that by the end of 2020 40% of British children will be growing up in poverty. And that that poverty is a direct result of government policies. The UN also stated that the British government is driving British families into destitution. As a nation we are a disgrace for allowing this to happen.

GwenCooper81 Fri 08-Nov-19 11:50:11

@anniemac1 good plan. They can move in ASAP.
Wow. Miaow.

CaptainKirksSpikeyGhost Fri 08-Nov-19 11:51:30

Yes, like communism worked?

As yet there have been no economic ideologies that have fully worked or are fully sustainable indefinitely. Which is why we as a country have a mishmash of Capitalist and socialist systems rather than full state capitalism.

TheQueef Fri 08-Nov-19 11:55:07

The attitude is too firmly embedded.
We've gone backwards and have reintroduced Undeserving Poor.
The propaganda worked like a charm.

I'm thoroughly ashamed and saddened that instead of wanting a society that supports the poorest, people are instead blaming them and critiquing.

blablablabla123 Fri 08-Nov-19 12:01:28

This all stems from fiscal policy - cutting interest rates and quantitive easing, which drives up the cost of capital assets and depresses wages. Its the same story in the US. The government knows this so has hiked minimum wage up, which doesn't help the poorest at all. The gap between have and have nots is growing quickly while the majority focus on house prices and political problems the poor suffer. No one seems to be fighting for them. I know two people stuck in this financial nightmare, both trying hard but the system is stacked against them and myself, as while im paying for food for others im unable to create enough wealth for my future.

ClientListQueen Fri 08-Nov-19 12:02:42


Child is hungry, you have £2 and no money for gas. Do you buy spices or cheap noodles that just need boiling water?
You can't risk making anything new because what if it goes wrong or your children won't eat it or it's inedible?
Maybe you don't have a car to get to the cheaper supermarkets and have to use the expensive local shop. Maybe you are housed somewhere with only a kettle and microwave, or your oven has broken or you can't afford to slow cook cheap meat for hours because it costs more in gas and electric
I can prance about doing cheap meals because I can afford the gas, I can get more food if it goes wrong and I have the time, energy and headspace to hunt reduced items
Poverty is never ending and draining

HoofWankingSpangleCunt Fri 08-Nov-19 12:03:03

As someone who has had to use food banks and still has to struggle to make my money last I can tell you that it's not the easy to batch cook when you have four pounds of electricity left to last three days. I still have to choose between heat or fruit and vegetables.
Yes, it is cheap to make a pasta dish but meals can get relentlessly dull if you're not careful. Herbs and spices are luxury items. I have a tube of harissa paste which is fantastic for adding flavour. I make a lot of pancakes, omelettes and dishes with frozen veg such as fried rice.
But living on such a budget is soul destroying. Making porridge with water (gruel) was a low point for me and I cried as I made it.
I make sure I get the reduced items in Lidl and that helps. I have time to make meals at least but often have to be very careful how long something needs to cook as it's a choice of oven chips or light some days.
It's grim as fuck and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I haven't always had to struggle like this and luckily I know how to cook and am experienced and old enough to have a bit of a repotoire. For those who work long hours and/or have not been taught to cook it's immensely harder. And yes, people can learn but that takes confidence as there is no wiggle room to substitute meals if a recipe goes wrong.

Btw, if anyone reading this is in a similar situation, my Lidl does a box of fruit and veg which is about to turn for 1.50 . There is only 1 or 2 and even then none on some days. You have to be there before 9.30. I don't know if it's nationwide but it's worth asking in your local branch.

Anniemac1, I'm sure your experiences are as valid as mine. The point is it's not black and white.

HoofWankingSpangleCunt Fri 08-Nov-19 12:04:23

X post with clientking who said it much more eloquently and concisely than me.

Iknowexactlywhatyoumean Fri 08-Nov-19 12:05:32

I have to agree that some, but by no means all, of it is down to lack of knowledge of budgeting and cooking. I still marvel at a thread on here once where a poster was adamant that pizza bases were professional chef level cooking. Pizza bases!!!

TheHodgeoftheHedge Fri 08-Nov-19 12:09:14

I also think it's a misunderstanding that those who are cash poor are time rich and therefore have the time and ability to trek around and then cook cheap food bargains.

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