A single mother who has been hospitalised twice with malnutrition blames inflation for making it too costly to feed herself after feeding her two kids.
Kelly Thomson, 43, says she can only afford to eat one meal a day on the £40 per week she has left over for the family’s food budget after paying bills on rent.
To make matters worse, her Universal Credit payments leave her with just £120 a month to cover spending after rent and food.
As a result of her diet, she has lost two stone in weight over the past 18 months and needed blood transfusions to bring her iron levels back to a safe level after going to hospital.
She said: ‘I’m worried for my health, I’m faint with hunger all the time. In June, my children watched me collapse. I’ve never been so scared in my life and the impact on their mental health must be awful.
‘I’m so worried and I cry every day. I’m so frightened I’m going to lose my mind, and I used to be such a happy person.’
‘The cost of living is crazy now and I don’t know what I’m going to do. We have nothing. I honestly feel I’m going to have to resort to begging.’
‘I do think about stealing but I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to my kids if I got arrested.
Universal Credit payments were raised by 3.1% this April but year-on-year inflation currently stands at nearly 10% and is forecast to keep rising.
Kelly fears the colder months will bring even worse hardship, having already had to go without power or electric lighting last winter as she couldn’t afford her bills.
The 43-year-old, who was signed off from her job as a cleaner in December 2020, says her family resorted to lighting their home with candles and relying on neighbours to heat their food.
She added: ‘It’s worse now than ever before. I feel sick over seeing the new inflation rate.
‘Everything is more expensive every time I go in the shop and I can’t bear to look at the gas meter.
‘It feels like everything is spiralling out of control – we need someone to step in and help the people that need it.’
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