We’ve all cut back on the shopping but could you imagine only being able to afford one meal per day or relying on charitable donations to feed your family? This was the startling reality of a BBC documentary on food banks.
Did you watch the BBC food banks documentary – Britain’s Hidden Hungry – on Tuesday evening? The programme followed several people who have to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families. Well, thanks to the food bank, they don’t have to make that choice.
The documentary went behind the scenes to share the stories of families who go without food. One parent skipped meals so their children could eat, a mother hadn’t eaten for two days and walked miles to a food bank, and a full-time student survived on one meal a day.
Food banks feeding the hungry
There are currently 250 food banks in the UK. Last year, The Trussell Trust, the charity who runs food banks, fed 128,687 people nationwide – 100% more than the previous year. And the numbers are rising.
The rise in basic living
Until watching Britain’s Hidden Hungry I hadn’t truly grasped how close to home food poverty is for some families. We have all seen our pockets squeezed. The cost of the basics is rising – food, electricity, heating, fuel – all the things we need just to survive are becoming harder to afford. And many are taking desperate measures to cut back.
Many of you have told us that you cut back on food when money is tight. In our most recent Quarterly Consumer report, 43% of you told us that you’ve reduced spending on food in order to manage your household budget. And 75% of you told us the food prices are one of your biggest financial concerns.
But what happens in extreme circumstances when we have to choose between the basics? Would you find it easier to go to an anonymous food bank or ask friends/family to help you by providing you with food? Have you ever had to make significant changes to your food planning just to afford basic groceries?