A SINGLE mum says she eats just one meal a day so she can afford to feed her kids amid the crippling cost of living crisis.
Claire Pulfrey, 38, told how her body has concerningly adapted to skipping food over the last two months after her bills skyrocketed.Struggling single mum Claire Pulfrey, 38, has been skipping meals for two months[/caption]
The mum-of-three, from Grimsby, can barely afford her weekly shop after food prices shot up – seeing Claire instead chose to go hungry.
And she is drowning in her energy bills after they more than doubled from £10 a week to £25.
Her worsening financial affairs have forced her to scrimp and save – and miss out on meals to ensure her three sons, Dan, 17, Theo, nine and seven-year-old Samuel, can eat.
The former teaching assistant sometimes steals a “bit of a sandwich” to keep her going – but says snacking is a rare luxury in her home.
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Claire has called on the government to roll out free school meals for all children from poorer families after struggling to feed her kids.
It comes as union leaders urged Boris Johnson to extend free lunch provision as the cost of living continues to bite Brits.
The desperate 38-year-old told the Mirror: “I started to miss breakfast after my money dropped in January.
“But then my energy bills started to go up, so by April I’d decided to stop having lunch too.
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“I could cope if it was just the price of food that was going up. But my gas and electric went up by so much, that was what knocked me.
“So now I have one meal a day, and that’s fine as long as my children don’t go hungry.”
Claire described how her body has “got used” to only receiving nourishment at tea time after adopting a “mind over matter” mentality.
She continued: “I try to get on with things to help me forget.
“At first I was getting really sluggish and tired, but now I think my body’s got used to it.
“If I’ve got a bit extra in I might treat myself to a bit of a sandwich, but it’s rare.”
The mum feels providing free school meals for underprivileged students to ease the pressure on families feeling the pinch.
I could cope if it was just the price of food that was going up. But my gas and electric went up by so much, that was what knocked me.Claire Pulfrey
Brits on Universal Credit are only eligible if their annual income is less than £7,400, excluding benefits.
Claire said: “It would mean parents won’t have to worry about finding money to pay for school meals or packed lunches, and might have some left over to pay the bills or buy more food for home.
“I know what it feels like to be on the edge and not know if you’ll have enough money to make it through the week.
“Anything that could help put a little back in our pocket would be a huge help.”
Former cabinet members are among those insisting the Government to act as it did during the pandemic, when free school meals were expanded to help families in need.
They added that hunger can act as a “real barrier for learning” creating further social inequalities for children from impoverished areas.
The PM has continued to face backlash from MPs, including his own party members, over his failure to extend the scheme.
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Last autumn, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised £200m a year to support the school food programme after Man Utd footballer Marcus Rashford called for a guaranteed “meal a day” to kids during the summer break.
But some MPs believe the policies haven’t been taken far enough.Boris Johnson has been urged to roll out free school dinners for all struggling families[/caption]
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