Bangladesh food

Cost of Living: From Storing Food to Cutting Down on Laundry – How Rising Costs Are Affecting Children | UK News

Community volunteers shared their concern about the cost of living crisis and its impact on children.

A mother has told Sky News her two sons have been hungry in the past.

Another group – offering free hot meals – estimates that more than half of the children they feed are malnourished.

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Nighat Bhola (left) is the director of Humdum UK

And Sky News has been told by a food bank that people are hoarding food because they are so worried the situation is getting worse. Cost of life crisis will get.

Nighat Bhola, manager of Humdum UK, which provides hot meals and food in Barking, east London, told us: “What we’ve seen is people wanting extra rations at home. So we provided more pasta and preserves which we don’t normally do.

“What we’ve had is parents want more food for their kids because they’re worried about what’s going to happen next week.”

Nighat lays out food on a row of tables inside a community center. People can come and use what’s available – no questions asked.

The day we visited there were basics like bread and foods like wraps nearing their best before date.

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Humdum UK offers hot meals and food in Barking in east London

Single parent “frightened” by the future

Sultana Begum, who arrived with her two sons Mohammed Eihan, five, and Usman, four, picks up a pizza and puts it in her plastic bag.

A volunteer translates for Sultana, who came to the UK from Bangladesh in 2006.

She reveals that she is a single mother and says she would struggle to feed her children without food bank donations and family support.

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In the past, she tells us, they were hungry. She still struggles, telling us that she limits the amount of heating they have in the house to a few hours a day.

She says the benefits she receives are not enough to cover her bills and the food they need.

“I’m afraid of the future,” she says. “The bills are going up. But I have no choice. This service feeds my children as much as possible.”

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Humdum UK said parents want more food for their children

These food donations can protect children from hunger, but malnutrition is another serious concern in the community we visit.

At Marks Gate Community Hub in Dagenham, the sound of people socializing reaches your ears before you walk through the door.

People are happy to reunite after the pandemic shutdowns. But there is another reason why this place is so popular.

Asma Haq of the Marks Gate Relief Project set up a free hot meal service for ten people in early January. Now the room is full.

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Malnutrition is a real problem in Dagenham

Asma leads us to the kitchen where she introduces us to a group of volunteers each preparing different curries and rice.

Pointing to the stove, she explains that it’s not a “commercial” appliance and isn’t big enough for their large pots.

I ask if this massive demand for hot meals is due to the skyrocketing cost of living and she nods.

Asma Haq Marks Gate Relief Project
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Asma Haq thinks at least half the children in this Dagenham community are malnourished

But more than that, she tells us that she thinks at least half of the children in this Dagenham community are malnourished.

It’s impossible to verify his point of view, but it gives you some insight into the impact of the cost of living crisis on the children of this region. And Barking and Dagenham are not alone.

Asma says that without the hot meal service, the children would go hungry.

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She says: “It’s so sad. If you live on canned food, there are a lot of problems. A lot of them, in my experience, miss school.

“They are tired in their games, football. They can’t run. They (the parents) just can’t afford the food. It’s very shocking and difficult. The mums and dads are compromising the good nutritious food because of rising prices.”

Debra
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Debra Figaro is a single mother of a teenage daughter and ten-year-old son

Parents forced to reduce visits to the laundromat

But the rising cost of living is not just impacting how parents can feed their children.

We meet Debra Figaro – a single mother with a teenage daughter and ten-year-old son.

Tears come to Debra’s eyes as she explains the financial struggle to do more for her children.

It’s hard enough to get most kids away from their phones, but Debra can’t afford to tempt them with family excursions and other activities.

laundry
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Even at the neighborhood laundromat, the cost of living crisis is affecting children

She says: “As a mother. I hear my friends say they took their kids out and I can’t say that.

“It’s really horrible knowing that I can’t do a lot of things. I do things every day like going to school but I want to have fun with them. I know deep down that they want more me.”

Even in the neighborhood laundromat, the cost of living crisis is affecting children. Soaring energy and household product costs are imposed on customers with a laundry load that costs more.

laundry
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People at a laundromat said they are reducing laundromat visits due to rising costs

The parents we talk to therefore say that they have to reduce their visits.

Harriet Yeboah works in a hospital delivering meals to patients.

She says: “I can’t afford the washing powder, the conditioner – everything is high. I work long days, long shifts. I feel bad but I don’t have the choice.”

Christian Lima, originally from the Philippines, also works in the NHS – in the field of blood donation. His wife is a nurse.

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But even with two salaries – juggling trying to avoid childcare costs – he tells us sometimes they can’t afford to wash their clothes.

He says, “Before, we used to wash their clothes three times a week. Now you have to make sure to wash them twice a week.

In many ways, children are affected by the cost of living.