Porridge for breakfast (made with water for the grown ups, and milk for the kids – I’m already worried the milk won’t last all week). The kids are hungry and hoover up today’s banana allowance for all of us between them. Well, I’ll miss the fruit later but right now I’d rather they were well fed.
Preparing the sandwiches for lunch, my husband is embarrassed that I’ve given him two sandwiches but only one for me. Well, he’s bigger and uses more energy! The kids steal some of the sliced chicken – they are hungry, growing children. I’m relieved I don’t need to worry about lunch or dinner for them, as they will be at school and nursery.
Mid morning and I’m starving and have a headache from coffee withdrawal. I drink lots of water and look forward to my sandwich. It’s not very filling and I really notice that the budget bread and meat seems less substantial. The afternoon drags, I’d usually have something sweet after lunch. I can’t wait for dinner. The afternoon drags and it’s hard to concentrate on work.
As soon as I get home we have some apple slices (I realised that chopping fruit up makes it go further) and I really appreciate the fresh crunchy fruit after a day of beige food.
I’m pleased with the chicken stew I made for dinner (chicken, veg and oats) – some salt would help but it’s good anyway. I am really craving coffee and sugar and it’s making me grumpy. The kids want dessert so I top them up with yogurt, grapes and milk (not in the budget!) and have a biscuit myself. I don’t want to think about how it would feel if I didn’t have the extra food to give them. How do you explain to a hungry 3 year old that you can’t feed them?
We’ve mentioned about our FISH clubs previously – Food (and Fun) In School Holidays – where we invite local families who struggle during the holidays (when free school meals aren’t available) to enjoy a free hot meal and free fun activities. We know this is a lifeline to many of the families who attend and the only meal some of the children will get that day. In spite of this, we have heard from local schools that free school meal take up is low and people who are eligible, haven’t signed up. Part of this is lack of awareness of this service and how to sign up, but some is definitely embarrassment of needing this support and, as with foodbank, the potential stigma of using this service. More information is here: http://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/school-administration/free-school-meals/index.htm
We know also that there is low take up from eligible families of Healthy Start vouchers – support with buying milk and fresh fruit and vegetables for pregnant women and mums of those under 4 years old. More info about eligibility and how to claim is here: https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/