You’ve got to wait a month for another food parcel. Universal Credit is literally starving people.

Dear readers, it’s freezing cold out there and the wind chill certainly isn’t helping. Today I woke up to snow but it quickly melted and at the moment the sun is shining. We’ve had endless rain so it’s so good to see it.

As usual we handed out all the food parcels and we gave everyone help and advice to everyone that required it. We gave everyone a copy of our survival guide as well.

It was a strange morning, quiet at first, most likely because of the snow. Needless to say we still spoke to lots of people. Some needed help, others needed someone to talk to. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t see anyone to speak to from week to week.

The first conversation that I had was with a woman struggling with her housing benefit and the council. She was patiently waiting for her son to arrive to give her support.

Asking for help sometimes takes a whole lot of courage and having to put your pride to one side can hurt like hell. The realisation that you need help can be very depressing. Most of the people that we speak to feel this pain. Please keep this in mind when you’re trying to persuade someone to accept help.

I had a conversation with a man that I’ve spoken to on quite a few occasions. He’s struggling with homelessness and is finding it hard to accept that he needs to accept help from the bed every night scheme.

Life is very complicated for many, and I hope that he does access this help. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a roof, shelter and a warmer place to stay. Let’s hope that he changes his mind.

I had a chat with a man who was in need of a food parcel. He’s waiting for his universal credit claim to be processed.

Earlier this week he asked his local food bank if he could have another food parcel, they refused saying that he’d had his quota and has to wait another month to get another one.

I handed him a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide which has all the links for most of the local organisations that will offer him help.

Thanking me he said that he’s been forced to live off plain pasta with salt and pepper on it to give it some taste. Feeling very relieved that he now had some food he couldn’t thank us enough.

It beggers believe that people that are desperate for food are refused extra food parcels. Many food banks do let people take extra parcels but its important to remember that many don’t either.

Let’s not forget the medical implications for people trying to survive like this. Their bodies will be trying to survive on zero vitamins and very few nutrients.

How on earth can people be expected to live like this? They have to fulfil the requirements that the DWP pile on them with little or no energy.

I’ve asked if food banks could hand out vitamin tablets with their food parcels and I was told no, no they don’t.

It’s very worrying that with mortality rates increasing every year and I doubt that anyone that I’ve spoken to over the years will live as long as the generation before them. It’s very reminiscent of victorian times in more ways than one.

We had a conversation with a man that was being messed about by the DWP.

The DWP had forgotten to send out an important email for him and as a result he hadn’t been issued a payment. Having no credit on his phone meant that he couldn’t phone them either.

This resulted in a series of conversations with the DWP and lots of messing around all of which should have been prevented.

I just hope that he’s OK and that it’s now sorted out for him.

I asked a man how things were going for him and he said ‘crap’. Yep that just about sums things up doesn’t it.

We spoke to a woman that has been waiting for her universal credit claim to be processed. She’s been waiting five weeks now and she’s struggling.

I offered her some advice and I’m hoping that she gets her payment ASAP.

We spoke to a woman that was told by her advisor that £900 had been paid into her bank account only she certainly hasn’t received the money yet. Let’s hope that it’s with the bank and is being processed, otherwise that’s a whole new battle that she’ll have to fight.

We asked a man how he was and if everything was OK with his claim. He told us that its shit, it’s all shit but he has no choice but to go through this week in week out.

It’s very clear that universal credit isn’t fit for purpose. Most people aren’t given enough money to survive on. Combine this with a rise in council tax, the bedroom tax and repayments of DWP and its a hellish nightmare.

Many people, in fact most people become depressed not only because of the stress that the DWP piles on top of them, but also because of the lack of nutrients in their diets.

Once again I’m positive that this is going to have serious ramifications later on in life. I worry so much about everyone trying to survive this cruel and inhumane system.

We aren’t just a number to be thrown on the floor like yesterday’s paper. We are people with dreams, hopes, ambition and everything else that comes along with that.

Be kind to each other, help each other and be thoughtful of others. Everyone’s path in life might be different but that doesn’t make them a lesser person than you or I.

We will be returning again next week as usual.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

If you can please donate. I run this campaign on a very low budget and the blog also. Every penny makes a difference.

Thank you to everyone that does and has supported the campaign and blog. It means the world to me.

9 thoughts on “You’ve got to wait a month for another food parcel. Universal Credit is literally starving people.”

  1. Keep up the good work fighting endemic poverty in a capitalist dictatorship.

    Mervyn Drage, member of Unite the Union Greater Manchester Community Branch


    0774 985 0457.

    On Thu, 27 Feb 2020, 15:49 The poor side of life, wrote:

    > Charlotte Hughes posted: ” Dear readers, it’s freezing cold out there and > the wind chill certainly isn’t helping. Today I woke up to snow but it > quickly melted and at the moment the sun is shining. We’ve had endless rain > so it’s so good to see it. As usual we handed out all the” >


  2. yes the DWP diet destroys your health my disabled other half lost all his benefits due to a total liar of an assessor , his report was so awful i never let him read it it took 9 months to get to an emergency tribunal but at the the time he was receiving nothing and as his health deteriorated i was able to work only a few hours a week ,we had eviction notices umpteen times debts piling up , during that time he had a minor stroke , seizures and suspected heart attack finally having to give up work to look after him full time , i lived on porridge , my teeth were so loose so i suspect i was developing scurvy and i now have diabetes . If you live rurally theres no bleedin foodbanks thats what people forget .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Paul Glendenning and commented:
    “Be kind to each other, help each other and be thoughtful of others. Everyone’s path in life might be different but that doesn’t make them a lesser person than you or I.” Charlotte’s words lifted from her latest bog post; an account of a few of the the people and their stories she and her team have encountered whilst trying to offer a little light in the darkness of their lives.

    The UK in 2020 is a place of sharp contrast. At the top of the economic pile, wealth continues to grow with rising numbers of millionaires together with a swelling wealth management industry. As you allow your gaze to fall, economic and social insecurity mounts, the closer to the bottom end you reach. It really does never cease to amaze me to see just how inhumane our welfare system has become over the last ten years. It seems that however many suicides occur, children arrive hungry at school or families lose their homes, the system supposedly designed to help them, in reality, pushes them deeper into the mire with its complexity, sanctions and unjustifiable delays between initial claim and first payment. We all owe Charlotte and people who like her strive to shine a light in the darkness. Her record will stand and one day, I hope, might be used to call those responsible to account.

    Please follow and share her blog and lend your support in every way you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Charlotte Hughes, Grey Swans is trying to start a campaign beyond foodbanks, for all churches / religions to combine together to provide daily soup kitchens, not needing referrals, to all who go hungry.

    The Tory Benefit system is only focused on leaving people to starve. Something the DWP constantly deny but you see each Thursday.

    Babies (especially under 1 year of age), young men, and women in their 50s and 60s are suffering a high and still increasing early death rate since 2011, but especially 2014 and 2015 (2015 saw the biggest surge of early death since after the 2nd world war, so before 1948 NHS).

    You know 60 per cent of poverty is in work. Zero hour contracted. Ken Loach’s Sorry we missed you and I Daniel Blake movies show the reason for hunger constantly denied by the Tories.

    Refeeding syndrome is the extreme starvation (before death) where a person eats very little for a long time and then gets a foodbank parcel. The body collapses and needs emergency NHS care.

    Starvation was being written about by doctors in the medical journal The Lancet as soon as welfare reform began 2011 onwards,with a higher amount of starvation cases presenting to NHS hospitals.

    Sanctions are beyond the 6 weeks medical science know we starve to death.

    Even if the religions used their resources to employ part time (catering students) for lunches?

    Social Cafes are the pay as you feel, who pay the cheap meal of donated waste food, and then donate (pay forward) a hot meal and hot drink, for the ticket to be redeemed by someone without food money.

    Any ideas on how to get members and how to begin this campaign please?


  5. You’re doing a great job. People need to read things like this to educate themselves on something which they probably have no idea about, or worse, have a lot of unfounded prejudices about, fed to them by so-called newspapers or else by gossip. You’re absolutely right, no-one should be going through this. It is systematic neglect and the perpetuation of impoverishment.

    Liked by 1 person

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