CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Food Crisis

Let me show you a real, tangible way in which poverty, meanness and / or divorce from reality causes very real difficulty on a day-to-day basis. In this BBC report, warning of a food price hike crisis, "a single mother of two young children, said the family was struggling on a food budget of £3 per head per day." She's lucky!

It was a major coop when I was finally able to have our groceries delivered, but I can't pay for them, partly because I don't have the money and because (as an unknown alien from abroad), the bank will not give me a card to do so.

So, it has to be paid for on mother's credit card. As I do the cooking, I do the menu, make the list and place the order monthly and, obviously, I tell her how much it's going to be. Usually, I get it to around the £70 - £80 mark.

Once it reached £100 and there was a frown and sharp intake of breath, because she considered that to be too much. I know that's a psychological barrier, but if the bill was to go over that, there would be a comment and an expectation that the next month be lower to compensate. If it was to go over consistently, I would be blamed, the delivery would be blamed. She could refuse to allow the order to be placed and we'd be back to her choice of cheap packet crap that would make my fibromyalgia flare up even worse and there is absolutely no way that I'm going to risk that happening.

Bear in mind too that this amount includes, not just food, but household things, like bog rolls, laundry soap, cleaning materials, etc.

Our monthly food bill for 2 people subtracting those things and adding the few fresh items bought each week, will come to an average of around £100.

This is not even £2 per person, per day. By the time you subtract the very few quid a month for cat food, it's probably going to be no more that £1.50, per person, per day - only half the amount the single mother struggles on. How much do I struggle then?

Previously, I was spending this much and more, to feed one person.

I'm also certain mother was spending almost this much for one person here in the UK too. Then mother says that £100 is about what they were spending when my father was alive. He's been dead almost a decade. She doesn't consider that it should now be more? She knows prices rise weekly, but will make no allowance for that.

In truth, by cooking from scratch, which most people appear to have become immune to, it's actually possible to not starve to death on so little money, but like they say, it's getting harder and you certainly don't get much fresh fruit and veg on it.

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