Leaving food parcels, cockroaches and illusions – how the cost of the crisis of life is squeezing families

As the cost of living continues to rise and food banks push to the limit, poor Birmingham parents are struggling to feed their children. The Hall Green community is doing its best to help families in this difficult time.

The Highfield Community Center in Hall Green is not only a hub for locals celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries or holidays, but also a food bank to help the most vulnerable in their community. Behind these services, parents want to spend every day without worrying about where their family’s next meal is coming from.

We talk to two single mothers in Hall Green who are in the middle of a crisis and reveal how their daily lives have been affected by the cost of living. Their stories illustrate why Birmingham Live, along with charities, food banks and community initiatives, has announced #FoodSOS in Birmingham.

Read more: ‘It’s terrible’ – man forced to stay ‘frozen and hungry’ in his own home after being denied benefits

As the crisis of life escalates, families are being pushed to the brink, struggling to raise budgets and facing impossible decisions. We are asking people who can donate money, food or time to help them go through a time of crisis. You can see the full details below.

At Hall Green, we spoke to Joanna, a single mother with a daughter in Yardley who is disabled. During the epidemic, Joanna received regular food packages from the Highfield Community Center because it was the time when she was most ‘disappointed’.

However, since the loneliness ended, Joanna often faces the ‘shame’ she feels for going to the food bank. He said: “I’ve never been comfortable going to the food bank before and that’s what I did with frustration.

“It’s about pride and I’ve never been bought to lend or lend money – no one owes me a living. But at that moment I was restless and I did it.

“My daughter is disabled and we were getting all the help she needed until she was 18. Although she is still a weak adult and I need her as a caregiver, it stopped like a housing benefit. The system considers him an adult, even though he is not.

“They were there when I really needed them but now I don’t call them anymore because of my pride. But when I was frustrated. The cost of living has affected everyone and we all have to deal with it. There are ways. ” she said.

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Since her daughter turned 18, Joanna has not had the benefit of housing, but her constant struggle to compete has hurt her. With the help of the food bank, Joanna got the hope she needed to go through difficult times but said that now she borrows from friends and family because she hates the feeling of going to the food bank.

Concerning her daughter, Joanne said: “She was born with a chromosomal disorder and is having a hard time learning – she will not get better and as soon as she becomes an adult, that’s all in the eyes of the law. And she can go out and work and restrain herself.

“There is no help for us and it is difficult for us. Borrowing has been how we survive in this age. I will admit that I go to days where I don’t eat but I go to more food banks. I don’t want to go. I hate it.

“The staff at the center were wonderful and wonderful. These were basic necessities, but in my daughter’s eyes she was very excited. The pack contained a box of shampoo and even a tampon that made her cry. She said, ‘They are thinking.’ Yes, I mean that.

Thousands of people in Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull are suffering because of the crisis of life. People who are already on the bread line are being crushed by rising energy, food and fuel bills.

On the food front line, campaigners and charities are reporting record levels of demand and need while donations are drying up. Pensioners, working poor, young parents trying to keep families together and vulnerable people in support shelters and hostels are among those facing the scorching heat.

But together we can make a difference.

We have joined the forces. Active Wellbeing Society They help connect the excellent network of food banks, food pantries, community projects, PSU-Fail Cafe, Iman and civic organizations offering free or cheap food in Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull.

We have together. Announced #FoodSOS.

Local councils, social services and schools are doing what they can to help those most in need. Government payments, rebates and grants are helping. But there is still a disappointing shortcoming.

There are three ways you can help.

Donate your money. Through the Community JustGiving Collection. One penny will go to the food front line to fund food and essentials.

Donate food. For your nearest community food operation

Donate your TIME. Volunteer to help food banks, collect food, cook or serve food to customers in cafes, or distribute parcels. If you are a community group or corporate organization that would like to sign up together, please get in touch.

Please click if you need help. Map of #FoodSOS To find your nearest location.

Map of #FoodSOS

Thanks together we can make a difference. #FoodSOS

“The community came to our aid and Gita came down from the center to personally deliver food to us when we were isolated. It meant a lot to us. It was like Christmas.”

After spending the last five years in Birmingham, since her mother died of an epidemic, Joanna now feels she has reached a breaking point in her struggle to maintain her lifestyle. Decided to leave the city. Joanna will soon return to her hometown of Tom Worth.

“The cost of living has affected everyone and we all have our own ways of dealing with it.” He said: “I definitely see myself counting money one by one. But I’m glad I’m going back to where I was born and leaving town. Birmingham didn’t help me. And I can start again. “

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Weekly food club

The Highfield Community Center’s weekly food clubs began during the outbreak of the epidemic and have now become ‘life-savers’ for many families in difficult times. One of the parents is a single mother of three, Ayesha, not her real name, has been using the food bank for three years.

The 34-year-old dropped a weekly food club parcel at her home because “there’s less to worry about.” But living as a single mother has made her feel helpless with very little help from the council.

“Sometimes I get food from the food club when there is stock. I usually get a drop off from the staff. I am a single mother with small children in pushchairs so there is food for me. Packs are easy to deliver.

“It’s really hard to do all the shopping with young children and they can’t walk. The drop-off service really helps.

“It’s about the little things that have helped me through this difficult time. They have helped me a lot and I pray a lot for them.”

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Ayesha has set traps to reduce the growth of cockroaches, but she says they keep coming to her habitat.

Since coming from Pakistan, Ayesha has been facing increasing visa fees, which has put more pressure on her to run her daily home during this time. Ayesha lives in the same room in a shared house in Hall Green, but due to limited space and the growth of cockroaches, she is struggling to find another place to live.

“We all live in a room which is a big struggle because there is no space. The children are not happy to live in such a small space – I also have a visa problem so we have to spend money on legal fees. That’s why there is no money for food. ” she said.

“It’s not easy for me. When the month is over, it’s the hardest because I have to pay a lot of debt like council taxes, energy and water bills. I have to think about everything. What will my children wear? School – I have nothing left at the end of the month.

Read more: Universal Credit Life Payment Cost – How much extra cash you will receive and when.

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“I also have a problem with my accommodation – there are a lot of cockroaches and they come into our room. The children are so scared to sleep at night. I don’t know how to report this to the council because Can’t speak the language.

“I’m afraid there will be no accommodation to go there so I’m dealing with whatever it is at the moment. I want to go to a bigger place because of the kids.”

“My kids can’t sleep at night so it’s scary. I’m tired of bidding for a new house and I’m on the waiting list.” she said.

Follow the latest from our #FoodSOS campaign here.

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