Another Impact of Lockdown on Your E.D...Food Poverty
Food poverty has long been a concern throughout the UK.
Long before the word Covid had entered our everyday vocabulary, charities talked of the crisis in needing to support families and individuals who just could not afford to eat without the provision of community-based food banks.
Since the emergence of this devastating global virus, however, the realities of food poverty have become significantly worse.
The Trussell Trust said last month that demand for food banks had actually risen some 89% since the pandemic was declared.
What concerns us, as an enterprise focusing on those affected by eating disorders, is that we’re now seeing food poverty as a specific and identifiable addition to the challenge people are finding in keeping themselves and their loved ones well nourished.
Among our calls and emails in the last few weeks have been those from sufferers who say that given they now face more financial hardship, their ability to prioritise food and eating has taken a huge hit.
So, not only are they struggling with the ‘motivation’ to beat their illness through adequate and appropriate food intake, they are finding themselves compromised by their finances – thus giving the eating disorder one more reason to ensure they ‘deny themselves’ what they need most.
This is particularly the case where the person struggling has 'other mouths' to feed at home. A parent's instinct is naturally to feed the child first - but it then gives 'permission' to themselves to continue to restrict.
We’ve also heard the devastating guilt of parents who are furloughed or redundant, and whose household purses are stretched – but alongside this, they are trying to find the money to source safe foods which are being insisted upon by a child with an eating disorder.
So too have we heard from social work and case worker teams who tell us of individuals who hadn’t previously battled with an eating disorder, but are now in that situation – tipped into that position as a result of severe financial hardship.
These are heartbreaking stories to hear.
These are the stories which perhaps the world wouldn’t want to hear, but they’re a scary reality with wicked implications.
Please know that we at Wednesday’s Child are here to help, to listen, and to signpost you to the right community food banks and organisations.
Do not battle through this alone. Get in touch with us and let us support your efforts to look after yourself and your loved ones.
- Jul 2020