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Reform Magazine | May 18, 2024

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I am... hungry - Reform Magazine

I am… hungry

Going hungry on the bread line

My benefits are all over the place. I am on jobseeker’s allowance, and I get £72 a fortnight at the moment for me and my two kids, who are nine and eight. That’s after deductions for rent, for council tax and for an overpayment from before. It’s a struggle, but I have my mum to help me as well. I spend a lot of time with her and she wouldn’t let us be without, but it should be me who’s doing it.

The government should not take as much off you as they do. If I had the full amount it would be £140. It’s not huge but it’s a lot better than £72 to last a fortnight.

What you can buy for that money depends where you go shopping but it’s difficult everywhere. I am always going without so the kids can eat. We went to Lidl and I had promised the kids a pound, and I only had a fiver left, but I let them have their pounds. I only really eat porridge, and I went without buying that, but my mum will help me.

I remember, going back years ago, when my eldest was little. He’s 21 now, but going back, I remember we had no money and all we had was some bread and beans. There was enough for him and he asked if I was not having any of it. I said I was not hungry and he was trying to share it with me, it was heartbreaking. …

This is an extract from an article by Lianne – a regular at the Parson Cross Initiative, Sheffield, which is a church-led project that runs several supportive groups for local residents.The Parson Cross initiative is based at Mount Tabor Methodist Church in Sheffield.

The project began in 2010, funded by the church, but it became a registered charity in its own right last year. It works with churches and other organisations to support people in the Parson Cross, Southey, Longley and Foxhill areas of Sheffield, working to promote social justice and inclusion.

As well as the foodbank and drop-in cafe on a Friday, other projects throughout the week include skills workshops, a community kitchen, gardening and allotment groups, a pop-up bakery and groups focusing on music, art and creative writing. In 2017, the foodbank distributed 2,014 food parcels, with 38% of the food going to children. Low income and benefit issues were the principal causes of referrals


This is an extract from an article that was published in the April 2018 edition of  Reform

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