Mum-of-four says she went six days without food so her children could eat
Sadie Drew starved herself for six days so her four children could eat during summer holidays. She has now turned to a food bank for help.
As reported by Mirror, Drew, 30, relied on free school meals during term time like many other parents in the United Kingdom. However, with the six-week break, she was struggling to afford to feed her family.
The mother, from Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, was left with no choice but to simply doesn't eat.
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"Kids don't stop eating, boredom kicks in and they replace that with food, and they just eat," she said. "Whereas in school they have certain snack times, and they are getting education, they are busy and their minds are ticking all the time."
"When that's not happening, they are just hungry all the time. It doesn't help when benefits cut you down from £168 a week to £116. It was tax credits, they decided they overpaid us two years ago, and they are taking it back at astronomical rates."
Drew said she feels no shame about using the food bank because her children's well-being is at risk.
"My kids need to eat, and pride goes out the window when it involves children," she explained. "If it was me, I’d starve."
"I have done it for my children. Before I knew about the Foodbank and that I could get help, I was a single mum to my two girls and I didn't eat for six days straight. Without this place, it would be a major struggle," Drew continued.
Kids would go hungry this summer because their families relied on free school meals, according to Don Gardner, who runs the CPR food banks at Camborne, Redruth and Pool.
"On the first day of the holidays this year we gave out over 800 meals out in two hours," he said. "That was a big afternoon we had. It made a very big dent in our stock. Two years ago we did 3,000 meals during the school holidays."
Gardner added: "We expect an increase in users because during term children are offered free school meals, and then suddenly mum's got two or three children at home and got to feed them for six weeks. And we're prepared for that. This year it's been busier than previous holidays."
He continued that when they first did the children's meals during the school holidays, the parents appeared to pick up meals for their children, but now they're getting complete families in.
"It's very difficult for people to suddenly find themselves to being able to support their children, and we're here to support that," he said.
Gardner is now encouraging the parents to feed their kids or pay bills to visit the food bank.
"We are here to support the problem, so if it's a genuine problem, ask for me and we'll sit down and talk," he said. "It might not even be food that's the problem, so we also have professionals coming in on Tuesdays to advise on housing, benefits, electricity and gas bills."