I have just watched the first episode of Famous, Rich and Hungry for Sports Relief and my overwhelming emotion is guilt and sadness. It is truly upsetting to know that people in England cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. I wake up everyday knowing that I am going to be able to eat well for that day, in fact, this doesn’t even cross my mind, it is standard in my house, we have food in the cupboards and fridge and the only thing stopping me eating it is the fact I can’t prepare food myself due to the pain I am in. Most days I wake up and wonder what treats I’m going to have. I think about all the chocolate that I could buy, can I be bothered to go to the shop and get Giant Buttons or shall I just stick with the Cadbury’s Pots of Joy in the fridge? The people on the programme can’t afford staple meals, let alone treats. These people choose between feeding their kids or themselves. They might have only one meal a day. I am so incredibly lucky to have never had to worry about being fed.
When I got poorly back in 2011, I went from being on a very healthy wage, to £50 a week. This jump was very noticeable. I went from being able to afford nights out, lunches, dinners, dresses, and trips to Canada, pretty much whatever I wanted. I then found myself living on £50 a week and found it very difficult and ended up borrowing a lot of money from my parents. I was still trying to live a lifestyle of lunches and dinners out, with new dresses to wear all the time. I thought I had it hard living on that amount per week. I had NO idea. I didn’t have it hard. I didn’t have a house to heat, I didn’t have to pay rent or a mortgage, and I didn’t have to pay for food shopping. One of the guys on the show spent £48 on this electricity for a week, meaning he had £2.50 for everything else that week. He has it hard. What would you do if you had £2.50 for the week? What food would you buy? How would you get by?
Last week I felt unhappy so I went to Brighton to do some shopping and I ended up buying a watch for £155. I just wish I had seen this program before I went shopping because I could have donated that money to Sports Relief. I have nice watches already, I didn’t need a new one, however people do need to eat and that money could have helped feed some people. My watch isn’t refundable, otherwise I would be in the shop right now returning it so I could give that money to a cause that so desperately needs donations.
I moan about my illness and the fact that I can’t participate in things that I love to do anymore, but I must remember how lucky I am to have a roof over my head with heating that I can put on whenever I want, I have hot water and I have food. I am not hungry like others are.
The four families shown on the program are not alone. This is a big problem in England. I don’t know about you, but when I think of poverty and starvation I think of Africa, I think of third world countries. How naïve I am. This problem is happening right here, in our country, right in front of us. This isn’t happening thousands of miles away, it’s happening on our doorstep.
To donate £5, with the whole £5 going to Sports Relief, text FOOD to 70005.
A couple more websites about food banks:
On this website, if you donate £5 it will provide 30 meals!!