Of 2000 mothers surveyed by Netmums recently, 1 in 5 regularly go without meals to feed their children, 16% are being treated for stress-related illnesses and one third are borrowing money from friends and family to stay afloat. Most mothers stated that their situation is worse than a year ago with less money coming in.
Foodbanks meet mums in desperate situations every week. This week foodbank mum Donna was almost in tears as she told me that she couldn’t afford birthday presents to give to her twins who will be 13 on Sunday. She said that her sons had asked to have a friend come to stay to celebrate their birthday but she hasn’t said yes because she’s not sure they can afford the extra food. Donna used to work in a school for children with Aspergers and Autism but is currently off work due to depression – which has been exacerbated by the family’s financial worries. Her partner was recently made redundant and they are currently living on £38 per week due to mistakes with their benefits. This is the reality behind the statistics. Donna says she will be ‘eternally grateful’ for their foodbox. Without it she says she would have gone without food and had to try to scrape together enough money to give the children something, even just bread and butter. The family are keen to get back into work, that’s the hope that keeps them going.