Rachel’s story is a simple one.

As a mum to two daughters aged five-years and nine-months she has been finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. The gas and electricity went up and so did the cost of her food shop.

She prioritises her important bills like rent and council tax (council tax also went up this year), as well as the energy bills but then finds that she has run out of food or money.

She explained that she is quite good with money and usually finds a way to catch up if she falls behind, but often there is just not enough to cover the outgoings. Luckily her housing is secure as she rents from the council.

She was first referred to the foodbank by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and has needed to visit four or five times recently.

The foodbank has been a real help to her. Although her family are supportive they’re not in a position to help her out with food for her and the children. At the foodbank you can get enough to help out for a while. 

Rachel appreciates the friendly welcome she gets at the foodbank and the fact that you can select particular things if you need them, such as nappies and baby food, although she prefers to make her own baby food from scratch using frozen veg - it’s cheaper and she can keep an eye on the ingredients. 

Everyone is really welcoming so she doesn't feel uncomfortable about going at all.

She says, “It’s like a shop, except you don't have to pay”.

  • If you need assistance, call Help Through Hardship on 0808 208 2138.
  • If you would like to help with our work through donating your time, money or food items, visit our website: eppingforest.foodbank.org.

 Jane Evans is a trustee of Epping Forest Foodbank.