Grocery store worker Alain Miah, 52, has seen his rent rise and his shifts halved, meaning he is struggling to feed his wife and children and now has to visit food banks to make ends meet get
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A London father has been forced to visit food banks to support his family amid the UK’s deepening cost of living crisis.
Alain Miah works in a grocery store so you’d think getting food wouldn’t be a problem, but the 52-year-old Newham dad says “it is”.
“The rent has been increased and my work has been halved,” he said My London.
What used to be a 50-hour workweek is now just 25, not enough to support his wife and children.
“Last year I was okay, but now I’m poor,” he continues.
“I eat the stale bread, but it’s not for my children because they don’t touch it.”
Alain points to his chest and says “my heart is okay, I’m healthy”. He mostly talks about his mental health.
He explains that this is his first visit to the food bank at the Adult College of Barking and Dagenham and he hopes it will be the last.
Most groceries come from local supermarkets already marked with orange discounted stickers.
Two women walk in and say their boyfriend told them to leave. They say they would speak more English if they didn’t spend so much time on Job Job Job.
An exhausted looking mother is changing her baby’s diaper, facing the wall. As she gets up to leave, she fills her stroller with odds and ends from the quickly cleared table.
It’s quiet and everyone gives one another a knowing smile as they content themselves to forage for a flash of sustenance in the beige garage sale of carbs.
Helen Abuchi, 39, from Barking has been waiting for her employment rights since fleeing Nigeria in 2007.
“We live on whatever they give us and try to live within our means,” she explains.
Her 3-month-old son whines as she describes how the cost of living has hit her family.
“Boy I’ve noticed a difference, things have really improved. When you get to the checkout, you understand that you’ve bought more than you should and realize you don’t have enough money,” she adds.
“Obviously I had to put things on hold. Normally I have to cut fruit and veg and buy enough spaghetti to feed people. But I don’t do that with my kids, even if I don’t my kids are always taken care of and to be fed.”
Despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s cost-of-living announcement on Thursday that will put hundreds of pounds in the pockets of millions of Brits, the story of the use of food banks has been a long-term surge.
For those already struggling, this cost-of-living crisis caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine has proved to be a turning point.
Foodbank usage in London has more than doubled in the last five years alone, from 137,248 visits in 2017 to 283,563 in 2021, according to data from the Trussell Trust charity.
Barking is also a hotspot for deprivation and was ranked as the most deprived borough in London in a 2019 government study that measured deprivation using multiple factors including income, health and crime.
The story of using food banks isn’t just limited to Barking or London, but Alain’s grimace says it all.
He goes back to Newham with his hood and a blue plastic bag full of stale bread to eat his own supper.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dad-forced-eat-old-bread-27088012 Dad forced to eat 'stale bread' so kids can eat decently amid cost-of-living crisis