Single mum has eaten just one meal a day for two months so kids don’t go hungry

A mother of three has revealed that she has eaten only one meal each day for the past two months in order to save her three boys from going hungry after the cost of living problem pushed her over the brink.

Claire Pulfrey, a single mother of two, has seen her energy bill more than double, from £10 per week at the start of the year to over £25 now.

As a result, she strongly supports providing free school lunches to all students from low-income households. She explains, it would mean parents would no longer have to worry about finding money to pay for school meals or packed lunches, and they could have enough left over to pay bills or purchase additional food for home.

She understands what it’s like to be on the verge of not knowing whether one will be able to make it through the week. Anything that will assist one to put money back in their pockets would be greatly appreciated.”

Claire, who is a member of the Mirror’s Cost of Living Panel, claims she has been missing breakfast and lunch every day, with her sole meal being in the evening with boys Dan, 17, Theo, nine, and Samuel, seven.

Claire, a former teaching assistant at a special school from Grimsby, says she began missing breakfast once her money plummeted in January. But then her electricity expenses began to rise, and by April she had chosen to eat lunch as well.

She could deal if the only thing that was going up was the price of food.  But it was the fact that her gas and electric bills had skyrocketed that took her out. So now she just eats one meal a day, which is great as long as her kids are not hungry.

Claire claims that her body has “adapted” to eating solely at tea time. It’s mind above matter. She attempts to get on with activities to distract herself. Initially, she felt sluggish and lethargic, but she guesses her body has gotten acclimated to it.

If she has a little extra money, she might reward herself with a sandwich, but that’s unusual. She  used to have a sandwich, some yoghurt, a piece of fruit, or a package of chips in the afternoon, but now she tries to wait until she prepares dinner for all at night.

Claire’s tale comes as the government is being pressed to provide free school lunches to children from Universal Credit households. Families on Universal Credit are eligible for free school meals if their yearly income is less than £7,400 (excluding benefits).

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, unions NEU, ASCL, NASUWT, and charity TeachFirst cautioned that school dinners can be a kid’s only hot nutritious meal of the day, and hunger can be a “serious impediment to learning.”

The organisation stated that a great school supper helps enhance a kid’s attentiveness and conduct throughout lessons. They have seen firsthand how they can improve school attendance, children’s health, and academic success.

As the cost-of-living issue worsens, an increasing number of students are finding it difficult to pay for school meals. They witness the heartbreaking truth of youngsters arriving at school unable to buy lunch as their home situations place them outside the tight free school meal qualifying standards.

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