I made pancakes for breakfast with flour, oil and water, as we are running low on milk (oat and soya) I used up all the mixture cooking them for my daughter, so I don’t have breakfast. I am well enough (and chubby enough!) to miss the odd meal, unlike so many of the people who use the Foodbank, who often look unwell and malnourished.
I eat plain rice for lunch. I feel tired and hungry. Food is no longer something to look forward to but has just become functional. And boring. I spend a lot of my life thinking about food – it’s one of my greatest pleasures, especially cooking for others (not so possible in lockdown) but now it just feels bleak. I am already longing for the end of the week and the prospect of homemade pizza, roast veggie Sunday lunch… and I have heartburn (probably because of what I’m eating), so I’m feeling miserable. I have also put on 3lb, which is probably because my diet this week has been loads of carbs (white rice, flour, sugar, cheap biscuits – which were really horrible, but I ate them anyway). I wont even comment on my digestive system… Vegan diets are not necessarily healthy, especially if they have very little fruit or vegetables. How must it feel to have to live like this for more than a few days? Or to always have the worry that it might be like this again?
Norwich foodank can cater for all sorts of dietary needs and often those served with specific requirements are the most grateful because these foods can be more expensive or harder to source (i.e. not available at a corner shop). So far in February, the foodbank hadeliver 352 food parcels and of these, 74 have been ‘specially’ made due to cooking facilities or dietary needs. Boxes of food that delivered usually need cooking with a hob and sometimes an oven (for example a Fray Bentos pie), but some people only have a microwave or kettle – especially those in temporary accomodation – and some have nothing at all (not necesarily homeless but quite often the case) so the charity ensures that not only the recipient receives a ‘full’ parcel, but that it is all appropriate for their circumstances.
With regards to dietary requirements, requests are made for vegetarian, Halal, diabetic, food allergy such as nuts and lactose and all are made to the best of the volunteer’s ability. This message was received from someone the foodbank delivered too:
‘I have a milk allergy and we are both vegan for compassionate as well as health reasons, and could not believe how thoughtfully the boxes had been packed. We want to extend out profound gratitude for what you have done for us and to let you know that your efforts have made our lives a tiny bit less awful.’