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Mum says she eats one meal a day so her children don't starve amid cost of living crisis

Emma Guinness

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| Last updated 

Mum says she eats one meal a day so her children don't starve amid cost of living crisis

Featured Image Credit: PA

A working mum struggling to navigate the cost of living crisis has revealed that she's limited herself to just one meal a day.

With inflation at its highest rate in 40 years, Helen Somers, 52, said she's struggling so much that she can't afford a cheese omelette dinner.

Helen Somers is going hungry despite working. Credit: PA
Helen Somers is going hungry despite working. Credit: PA

Lincolnshire Live reports that the mum-of-four has now resorted to feeding herself just one meal a day in order to prioritise her children.

Somers, who works as a teaching assistant, said that her school lunch is her only option, thanks to her staff discount.

She said that her family had always lived a hand-to-mouth existence, but she has never had to go hungry before.

Somers, who is from Bingley, West Yorkshire, explained: "I didn't honestly think as I got older I'd be worse off than I was.

"I didn't think I'd be worse off now than I was when I first became a single parent.

"I had four children and we could afford to go out, we could afford to do things.

"Whereas now, it's school holidays and I can't afford for us to go anywhere. I'm sickened really, I am. I'm really low with it."

The mum said formerly cheap eats, like beans on toast, aren't cheap anymore. Credit: Alamy / Evan Dawson
The mum said formerly cheap eats, like beans on toast, aren't cheap anymore. Credit: Alamy / Evan Dawson

Somers said she's now in a situation where she is 'watching every penny' and described the severity of her situation as 'ridiculous'.

"I shouldn't be doing this at my age. I love the fact that all my children are earning more than me, but I shouldn't be feeling like this at my age.

"We've always lived from hand to mouth. I've got four children, I've raised them on my own. Now I've just got my youngest son living with me," she said.

"He's 18, he’s been doing his A-levels this year. We're basically living on his tax credits and child benefit. I come home with about £840 a month.

"I do get, at the minute, working tax credit but all that will stop when Charlie's classed as not being a student anymore.

"Do I pay the water bill or do I pay the community charge? Whatever I pay, I'm going to be in debt to someone."

She also explained that the rising cost of living means that meals that has previously been cheap to make, like cheese omelettes, aren't anymore.

The mum-of-four is only eating a subsidised lunch. Credit: PA
The mum-of-four is only eating a subsidised lunch. Credit: PA

However, it is soaring energy bills that have got the mum worrying the most.

She said: "I put my meter readings on and it gave me a forecast of how much (my energy bill is) going to go up.

"At the minute I'm paying £197.45 a month for gas and electric. Last year I was paying £70 a month for both.

"By October, it’s telling me it'll be £293.67 a month. November, it’s saying I should be paying £380.72 a month. December, £459.57 to keep on top of it. January, £511.98."

She is desperate for the government to intervene to help people like her, who are unable to make end's meet after the energy price hikes.

"We need someone that does understand the cost of living. Someone that knows how much things cost," she said of the new Prime Minister.

"Not someone that gives us false promises, someone that will actually do something. We're not wanting handouts, we all work hard,

"It's going to get worse before it gets better. That's the hardest thing, there’s no end in sight, there's no light at the end of the tunnel on this one is there?"

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website. 

Topics: Real Life

Emma Guinness
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