Real stories: people who suffered food insecurity during the pandemic

Lucy, a mother of three children and full-time carer for her 10-year-old daughter

Lucy's husband was self-isolating due to ill health and she found feeding her family difficult on their low income. Although two of Lucy’s children are eligible for free school meals and they receive supermarket vouchers in lieu of meals at school, she is unable to use these vouchers online. She has also found it difficult to buy enough food due to an increase in food prices and food shortages. Consequently, she relies on community support from a local charity and a summer ‘brunch club’ to feed her family.

Joyce, 87, has mobility issues and lives alone in a second floor flat

Joyce was shielding during the pandemic and this meant she could no longer shop. She relied on ‘Meals on Wheels’ deliveries and a local charity to deliver her food shopping. Consequently, she has lost weight and has been feeling very low in mood as she is unable to socialise with her friends or visit the local supermarket café. Joyce has sought help from a counselling service.

Amber, on maternity leave with her six month old baby

Amber has been unable to get her baby weighed and has found it difficult to get nappies and formula milk during lockdown. She describes feeling ‘robbed’ and worries about her child’s development. She has also said that learning to breastfeed has been stressful, painful and ‘overwhelming’ and she would benefit from more support.