Victoria B on 16 December 2020

We're lucky in that we've got the community centre, I've got neighbours I can ask for food from in an emergency and vice versa. We've got an Aldi within walking distance. We're one of this countries luckier low income families. So many are so much worse off that us. That makes me sad.

Today, as its the day we normally get a bag from local community centre, kiddies and I went in the front garden. Played football, got all muddy in the rain, had a jolly old time lol. A neighbour came out for a quick chat as we do most days now, her little one is too young for the centre so while she's not been actively telling us that she's hungry, from reading between the lines me and another neighbour (who also receives from the community centre) knew enough to share our bits with them each week. Well, I'd thought today that I'd ask community centre if this neighbour could be added to their delivery list, but I didn't want to embarrass the neighbour so when I saw her I said "I'm waiting for delivery from the centre, come over and help yourself when it comes. I was thinking, how would you feel if I asked them to add you too their list? I'm sure they'll be happy too." She thanked me and said she'd been too shy to ask them herself, I'd sent her the link to their site a while ago but I know how shame and embarrassment can make contacting help for oneself harder, so when the centre delivery came, as my kiddies were showing their football skills, I mentioned about my neighbour and the centre said they'd definitely add her to next week's list. My neighbour's just text me to thank me, saying the centre dropped off a bag of items for her today. She's so happy bless her. See, it's tricky for their house cos they're so young, still so full of hope and pride bless 'em, the mister has a car and a job, from the outside you'd think they were pretty well off (at least by our estates standards), but that's not the reality. Often, people like me who are solely reliant on benefits actually have more money in the bank after bills than those that work. As I've less taxes and no car to worry about. Poverty, food insecurity, comes in so many different varieties under capitalism. But its just as painful for each person, regardless of their work status. Just as scary. Just as unjustly shameful. And it's generational. As much as I try to limit the effect my mental health has on my children, it still effects them. They see me skipping meals and feel confused, guilty sometimes, and I reassure them but it hurts them too. That is why it makes me so angry to see kids go hungry, anyone's kids. We have no excuse for it these days. Food waste is at an all time high and yet children in well developed countries still go hungry. It's shameful.

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