01/11/2013 08:55 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

You Know You're POOR When...

* You know you're POOR when you scrape the burned bits off your toast instead of putting more bread in.

* You know you're POOR when you do your shopping at half nine on a Wednesday night looking for the yellow-stickered stuff.

* You know you're POOR when you wear your big dressing gown instead of putting the heating on in winter.

* You know you're POOR when you drive at exactly 57 miles per hour on the motorway in an attempt to save on fuel.

* You know you're POOR when you take a badly packed lunch to work instead of going to the chippy.

* You know you're POOR when you over-pack the washing machine and use one washing tablet.


You know you're POOR when you have to queue at the local food bank because you just can't see where your next meal is coming from. You know you're poor when that package of food is what will sustain your family for the next few days.

Almost 350,000 people have received an emergency supply of food from Trussel Trust Food Banks in the past 12 months. This is an increase of 170%. The biggest cause of this increase is due to benefit delays, low income and benefit changes.

UK food poverty is a real issue, and it is on our doorstep. There is always someone poorer than you and me. This race to the bottom culture that this coalition government have fostered has added to the misery of thousands, and there is no end in sight for the people affected.

This Christmas I will be donating a Christmas food shop to my local food bank. Let's help. Let's pull together. Poverty should not be on the agenda in such a developed nation - but it is. We can all help in any way we can, whether we think we're poor or not.