“We didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from and we were really struggling.”
When Sarah’s partner recently moved in with her it should have been a happy time for them, but informing the council of this change to their circumstances resulted in a delay to their benefits, leaving them in a desperate situation.
“We are both on a low wage and we were left without any benefits for nearly two months. We found it really difficult,” explains the 35-year-old, mother-of-two.
Sarah admits that a big issue was juggling money for gas and electric, as well as for food. It was whilst they were at their local housing association discussing their struggles to pay their rent due to this benefits postponement that they were referred to their local foodbank.
“As a parent, to not know if you’re going to be able to feed your children is shameful and degrading,” she explains. “Always knowing the foodbank is there puts your mind at rest a bit; knowing you can go there and get support is brilliant.”
The family were glad that the foodbank was there to support them during this difficult time. Although she had no control of the situation, Sarah felt as if she was letting her family down: “It was very worrying. It’s scary as a parent as you don’t feel as if you’re doing your job properly. Obviously you want to be able to support your children in every way and that’s not possible when things like this happen.”
And her six-year-old daughter, Frankie is aware that hunger in the UK is an issue: “Every night I pray for poor people to have food because I care about them.”
Sarah certainly didn’t expect a simple change in circumstances to have such a big effect on her life. “Living together as a couple and both working, I never thought would be so difficult,” she admits. “I thought it would make our lives easier and we would be better off, but we ended up really not in a good situation at all.”
But despite their struggle so far, Sarah is holding out hope for a brighter future: “We’re worse off financially but obviously we’re better off emotionally and as a family we’re a lot happier.”