The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Gemma Tumelty Headshot

Shopping for Supplies and My First Day Living Below the Line

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Lidl had an offer on tea bags, 27p for 80, this has made my week. So I bought 80 tea bags, two jacket potatoes, a bag of rice, a tin of chickpeas, 10 eggs, a tin of tuna, two packs of chicken instant noodles, a carton of passata, a pint of milk and two onions. I actually went to two supermarkets to try to get the best prices, something I would never normally do.

The process of adding up every item and weighing the vegetables to make sure that I could afford them was quite humbling. I am left with 51p and definitely want to buy a courgette or another vegetable to help flavour the rice, I am also hopeful that someone will want to trade some tea bags as I won't need 80 for the week, even I can't drink that much tea!

My breakfast was a boiled egg and my lunch some instant chicken noodles. Before dinner I had the shakes from lack of food and was really hungry, normally I would snack on an apple or some nuts, but there is no room in my budget for snacks.

Dinner will be onion, passata and rice, so will lunch tomorrow.

Every second child on this planet lives in poverty; worldwide up to 400 million children are presently suffering from hunger. Chronic hunger leading to malnutrition in childhood can cause significant physical and mental health problems. Hunger kills more people every year than tuberculosis and malaria combined.

Children do not develop in the way that they should when undernourished, not just physically but in terms of personal and educational development. Hungry children cannot learn, they simply do not have the fuel their brains need to function.

In the UK, poverty in working families is at record levels, families struggling to feed their children are an everyday reality. For many low income working families, a seemingly small crisis can make the difference between eating and going hungry. Over winter, with energy prices rocketing the choice for many families was choosing between heating and eating.

The Children's Society has warned that 350,000 children will lose their free school meals under the government's radical plans to reform welfare entitlement next year, more than 350,000 children will lose their free school meals. Parents will need to get unrealistic pay increases to be compensate for the loss of the benefit. This is huge step back and a travesty of the government's making that will really impact on family household budgets and children's ability to learn.

All I have to worry about is getting through these five days and how I am going to have the energy to keep up my normal routine which usually features several gym trips a week. I am not worrying about how I will feed myself or my family long term or how the children in my family will develop and learn in the way that they should.

Around the Web

Live Below the Line Day 1: Eating healthy on a $1.50 a day

Live Below the Line: Meeting the challenge to live on $1.50 a day