The inflationary crisis that has plagued the United Kingdom for several months is leading more and more Britons, hitherto unknown to social services, to go to food banks. We report on these new challenges in East London in the fourth episode of our series on the UK’s social and economic crisis.
Rising electricity prices and the cost of living no longer leave them a choice. Many Britons, previously unknown to social services, are forced to turn to food banks to support themselves.
In East Ham, east London, new customers have been coming through the doors of social food banks.
Nalal, who has not worked since the birth of his autistic son, discovered the Salvation Army premises. His only income was state benefits, too meager to cover the most essential expenses. “The grocery store saved us. Yesterday, to heat my house for a few hours because it was -4 degrees, it cost me 5 pounds. My son is three and a half years old and because of the cold he sleeps in my bed, we stay in my room” .
Before the crisis, the young woman used to go out twice a month with her son to a restaurant or an amusement park. Today this is impossible due to electricity bills. In previous winters, “I was spending £40-50 a month, maybe £55 when it was really cold. Do you want to know how much I pay now? How can the government think it’s acceptable for human beings to live like this? It disgusts me.”