A single mum has revealed how she battles poverty to feed her three young children and mother every day.
The woman and her mother, who live together in Dalmuir, visit West Dunbartonshire Foodshare in Clydebank every week to get the week’s food, the Clydebank Post reports.
The young mum told how her bank runs dry every month as benefits are sucked away into the rising bills and cost of living.Her mother relies on her support after her benefit was docked to pay back a housing debt she says she paid, but could not prove. Now the family of five live in poverty, relying on the kindness of others to feed them.
The young mum, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Clydebank Post: “Once you pay the TV license, bills and food you are left with about £3. I get nothing, I go without food every day, it’s either me or the kids a lot of the time, and food has to go to them over me.”
At first, she felt humiliated at having to use a food bank — but sheer necessity means she has overcome those feelings to ask for help.
“I’ve been going for two years now,” she said. “I have no choice, I can’t afford to live like this — I don’t remember the last time I bought anything. I have to save every penny I get for the kids.”
Counting pennies is something that is familiar to people who rely on the foodshare service.
The woman’s mother, leaning on a walking stick and with tears in her eyes, told the Post how life relying on handouts is difficult and undignified.
“I have gone without gas an electricity on Christmas Day twice now,” she said. “Last Christmas someone put money through my door for food but I had to spend it on bills. I get food from the food bank and I share it with my daughter. If there’s something we both like, we sometimes trade things and if there’s something we don’t eat we hand it back. Nothing goes to waste, we do it together so we can avoid going hungry where possible. I can’t live like this, I just can’t — there is no way of us getting enough food, we can’t manage on our own, we can’t live like normal people. It’s embarrassing at first but we have had to accept it.”
Pushing a buggy uphill at Radnor Park another woman told the Post she and her children eat from microwaved tinned food every day.Crisis loans don’t work when you’re raising three,” she said. “My cooker has blown so now we have to eat just tinned food cooked in the microwave.I have to use the food share, I don’t have another choice, and even though my situation has got so bad there are a lot of people in Clydebank who use the food bank that are worse off than me.”