With two-thirds of people aged 18-34 forced into new debt since the start of 2022, and working families struggling with rising bills, foodbanks are more of a common sight in supermarkets — that’s according to the Evening Standard.
One such Brit is Kelly Brennan is unsure about her ability to pay for Christmas meals. The mother of four who is a single parent has spent sleepless nights thinking about how she would pay her increasing expenditures.
The burden of having to purchase upscale food for her seven-year-old son who has many food allergies and experiences dermatitis raises the already debilitating expense of life. He follows a tight diet, Kelly, 45, added. He can only consume organic food, which is costly. Kelly's weekly shopping spend has increased from £60 to £120 as she makes her living off of disability payments and universal credit. “I have to make budget cuts elsewhere since I don't have that money. I do without if I don't need toiletries for myself.”
Her money-saving problems don't end there. Since her baby has eczema and sheds skin at night, Kelly from Halifax would wash her son's bedding every day to remove the skin flakes. "However, with the rising cost of power, this is no longer practical. I'm fighting a never-ending war for my children. Kelly permits herself to turn on the heater for 15 minutes at a time in order to reduce expenses. "I'm terrified. Gas costs me around £8 per day. I'm always concerned about it and am unsure of how to handle it.
Let’s investigate the data…
Foodbank Demand Sees 100% Increase
Focus4Hope, a nonprofit located in west Yorkshire that offers good winter kits to individuals in need throughout the cooler season in addition to a local food bank and food package delivery service, is fully aware of her plight.
CEO Louise Reed stated: "Working families have increased pressure for our services by 100%. Prior to now, we mostly served more aged, handicapped, and vulnerable individuals who were receiving benefits, but there has been a significant increase in working families that require assistance in addition to those on minimum wage and zero-hour agreements."
She went on to say they will be working with Comic Relief to raise funds for the organization as part of our On the Breadline Christmas Appeal. "A few weeks ago, a guy whose spouse has dementia phoned," Ms. Reed continued. “I just paid our bills, and I have no money left for meals,” he declared. This was the first time he had to make such a call, although he lived in a wonderful home in a pleasant neighbourhood. Consider how many more individuals are suffering who haven't sought help if he's having trouble, he asked.
Such harrowing tales, according to Ms. Reed, give the charity the impression that they are a "barrel with a million holes. More money is required so that we can replenish our supplies. Without them, I'm afraid that people would die from the cold."
Even if times are hard, Focus4Hope's help is much appreciated. Christian Drinnan, 26, departed with his two young children after a nasty breakup in April. A month later, he relocated to a new house. Christian reached out to Focus4Hope since he didn't have much money. This was the first time I accepted assistance, the single parent stated. They provided me with everything I needed to get back on my feet, including a microwave, plates, a toaster, blankets, and food cartons. Without them, I'd be owing money.
University Staff Strikes
The situation is reaching critical mass as the BoE prepares us for further interest rate hikes. On Friday, the long-standing strikes by Royal Mail employees and university professors will resume. The conflicts include salary, jobs, pensions, and working conditions.
On Thursday, employees of the University and College Union (UCU) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) went on a 48-hour strike. Additional actions are expected in the weeks that followed. On Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, picket lines were once more set up at colleges and Royal Mail facilities around the nation.
The 70,000 university employees who took to the streets on Thursday, according to UCU national secretary Jo Grady, "will no longer accept declining wages, pension cuts, punishing schedules, and gig-economy workplace conditions." Vice-chancellors have had a harsh awakening today if they had any doubts about the staff's commitment to saving our industry.
"The number of students who have accompanied us on the picket lines has been overwhelming, and we are grateful for their support." They understand that vice-chancellors are destroying the industry for both employees and students and are committed to working with us to make it right.
"Our workers need an adequate salary increase, and the funds are there to make that happen." Vice-chancellors must now respond quickly to employee concerns or our 70,000 members will escalate the conflict into the following year.
Employers at universities said they were taking action to minimise any inconvenience and said that the union was asking for an "unrealistic" wage raise of 13.6%, which would have cost universities about £1.5 billion.
The CWU is moving through with more protests, including today and on Christmas Eve, despite the Royal Mail's latest offer being rejected.
Many customers and small companies depend on the high-quality services that Royal Mail employees deliver over Christmas, according to a CWU spokeswoman.
The purpose of Ms. Reed's work is to "keep people alive through winter." People ask us, "Is everything going to be all right?," she remarked. The difficult part is that we just don't know.
We will remind readers of the UK environment, where rolling blackouts have been considered. The National Grid has issued a warning that millions of households and companies in Britain may experience scheduled power outages during the winter of 2022 as a result of gas shortages and a decline in energy available from Europe (mention worthy, the second-largest net exporter of oil, Russia) but also the Middle East.
The worst-case scenario for power outages, according to the National Grid, may last up to three hours. Up to one in seven elderly may lose their power.
There is reasonable data available to believe the downturn will be more severe than authorities are forecasting after the epidemic and with the added consequences of a disrupted supply chain and gas shortages.