A single mother who lives on one meal a day so she can feed her children amid the cost of living and who has been hospitalized twice for malnutrition.
Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 a week to feed herself and her two children – and says rises in inflation have already crippled her struggling family.
Although Ms Thomson’s universal credit covers her £1,300 monthly rent and a few other costs, she says she only has £160 a month left for everything else.
The mother from Slough, Berkshire, said rising food prices have made it nearly impossible for her to feed herself and her family.
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She lost two pounds because she only eats once a day, and had to take her daughter’s birthday present to Cash Converters to get money for food.
She was hospitalized twice and suffered from malnutrition, she says. She even needs blood transfusions to replenish her depleted iron levels because she can’t afford fresh food.
This comes as new data from the Office for National Statistics released on Wednesday revealed that inflation in the UK is at its highest since 1982, at 10.1 per cent.
Ms Thomson, who has a 14-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, said: “I hate waking up every morning and thinking ‘oh my God, not again’.
“The cost of living is insane now and I don’t know what I’m going to do. We have nothing. I really feel like I have to resort to begging.
“It’s worse now than ever before. I feel sick seeing the new inflation.
“Everything is more expensive every time I go into the store and I can’t bear to look at the gas meter.
“I do think about stealing, but I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to my children if I were arrested.
“I just cry every day because it’s getting worse and I feel so trapped, like I’m choking and there’s nothing I can do,” she continued.
“It feels like everything is spiraling out of control — we need someone to step in and help the people who need it.”
Ms Thomson has struggled to make ends meet since she contracted Covid for a long time in December 2020, when she was fired from her job as a cleaner.
She said she and the children were without power in the winter and used candles to light their home because she couldn’t pay the bills.
They all crawled into bed together at night to keep warm – while the family depended on neighbors to heat up food.
In desperation, Ms. Thomson said she took her daughter’s family TV and smart TV she got for her birthday to Cash Converters to buy some food.
All the money goes to food, supplemented with food bank supplies, but she still lives on one meal a day so her children don’t starve.
She gives the kids breakfast and they get lunch at school, but she says eating with them is the only time she can feed herself every day.
Ms Thomson has lost two stones since January 2021 and her size 12 clothes seem three sizes too big for her.
Ms Thomson said: “I’m lucky if I get one meal a day. I just get up every morning and carry on because I have to, I do it for my kids.
“I am so worried and I cry every day. I’m so scared I’m going crazy, and I used to be such a happy person.
“I’m worried about my health, I’m starving all the time. I’ve fought and fought and I just don’t know what to do anymore.
“In June, my children saw me collapse. I have never been so scared in my life and the impact on their mental health must be terrible.”
She encourages the government to step in to help the most deprived – before they have any more “death on their hands”.
Mrs Thomson said: “It’s terrible. The truth is, it’s like everyone is suffering while the people at the top are having a party. They need to fix up.”
If you would like to help Ms. Thomson, you can find her GoFundMe page here.