Lifestyle Columnist, Amanda Alexander

As employers continue to shred hundreds of jobs during this unexpected third national lockdown, how are families coping when it comes to feeding their families? It doesn’t look like a return to the old days of freedom and mask free living is on the horizon any time soon. According to the Office of National Statistics figures from September to November 2020 the unemployment rate of 5.% had increased to 0.6% meaning that a further 1.72 million more people are facing economic hardship¹.

Food banks all over the UK have seen an increase in demand for food. The Trussell Trust Charity report dated Thursday 12 November 2020 stated that demand at its food banks had increased by 47% between April and September. Steve Turner ‘Unite’s Assistant General Secretary’ said: “…Even before the pandemic, food bank usage under the Tories’ merciless attacks on the social safety net had rocketed. … the coronavirus has thrown countless workers onto the mercies of Universal Credit and other benefits and thousands more will follow before the crisis is over…”²

With dependency on food banks increasing at such a rapid rate it’s not surprising that some may be forced to close unless the UK government steps in to subsidise their services³. If or when that happens how can families in the meantime be satisfactorily fed where finances have been dramatically slashed due to job loss, and Universal Credit is not sufficient to meet the financial commitments of a previously well earned income? Many families are now finding themselves suffering with food poverty.

Mum-of-five Lorna Cooper believes that she has the answer on how to feed loved ones on just £20 a week by using an eight week food plan. Lorna recommendations are to shop smart, stock up your freezer and love leftovers, she says that this is the key to survival in these tight times.4

Coming from a West-Indian family I remember my mother being a single parent being able to feed her three children for around £15 per week. She bought fruit, vegetables, spices, toiletries and cleaning materials from Rathbone market, meat from the local butchers, baked her own bread made cakes, bakes, and still managed to save money! It’s not impossible folks it can be done. If you find that you’re struggling to feed yourself and family why not consider planning how to spend your money on food, and shop around you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The internet has a host of ideas on how to shop wisely and feed your family with a healthy diet. Why not take the plunge to re-evaluate your finances, ask yourself some serious financial questions, take some disciplined decisive action for your family to eat well during this pandemic.

Questions:

  1. How much did you spend on shopping last week?
  2. How much was spent on snacks, take-aways, microwave meals?
  3. How much was spent on actual raw food that could be turned into breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper?
  4. Have you considered watching YouTube videos to learn how to cook your favourite take-aways?

Until next time, remember you are beautiful and wonderfully made – If you’d like to discuss this you may reach me on https://www.facebook.com/caribbeanhookup/ – With love Amanda x.

Amanda Alexander -Founder of Elect Lady Ministries & Amanda Alexander Productions

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Disclaimer: This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to Carib-Direct Multi-Media Ltd.

¹ https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment#:~:text=The%20UK%20unemployment%20rate%2C%20in,high%20of%2014.2%20per%20thousand.

² https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2020/november/massive-increase-in-food-bank-usage-during-pandemic-underscores-necessity-for-welfare-reform/

³ https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n27

4 https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/10660990/feed-family-20-quid-a-week-recipes/