Mother hospitalized with malnutrition after eating one meal a day so children don’t starve

A single mother who lives on one meal a day to be able to feed her children despite the cost of living crisis and has been hospitalized twice for malnutrition.

Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 a week to feed herself and her two children – and says inflation hikes have already crippled her struggling family.

Although Ms Thomson’s Universal Credit covers her monthly rent of £1,300 and a few other costs, she says she is left with just £160 a month for everything else.

The mother from Slough, Berkshire, said rising food prices have made it nearly impossible for her and her family to feed themselves.

Did you run into similar issues as costs skyrocketed? If so, email holly.bancroft@independent.co.uk

She lost two stones in weight because she only eats once a day and was forced to take her daughter’s birthday present to Cash Converters to get money for food.

Twice she ended up in hospital malnourished, she says – even needing blood transfusions to replenish her depleted iron levels because she couldn’t afford fresh food .

Kelly Thomson (right) said she lost two stone because she could only afford to eat once a day (Kelly Thomson/SWNS)

It comes as new data from the Office for National Statistics released on Wednesday revealed the UK’s inflation rate was the highest since 1982, at 10.1%.

Ms Thomson, who has a 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, said: ‘I hate waking up every morning and thinking ‘oh my god, not yet’.

“The cost of living is crazy now and I don’t know what I’m going to do. We have nothing. I honestly feel like I’m going to have to resort to begging.

“It’s worse now than ever. I feel sick seeing the new inflation rate.

“Everything is more expensive every time I walk into the store and I can’t stand looking at the gas meter.

“I think about the theft, but I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to my children if I was arrested.

Mrs. Thomson's two children, Alfie Peek and Louise Brown (Kelly Thomson/SWNS)

Mrs. Thomson’s two children, Alfie Peek and Louise Brown (Kelly Thomson/SWNS)

“I cry every day because it’s getting worse and I feel so trapped, like I’m suffocating and there’s nothing I can do,” she continued.

“It feels like everything is spiraling out of control – we need someone to step in and help people in need.”

Ms Thomson has struggled to cope since she had a long Covid in December 2020, when she was made redundant from her job as a cleaner.

She said that in the winter, she and the children used to go without electricity and use candles to light their house because she couldn’t afford to pay the bills.

They all cuddled together in bed at night to keep warm – the family relying on neighbors to warm up food.

In desperation, Ms Thomson said she brought the family TV and her daughter’s smart TV which she received for her birthday to Cash Converters to buy food.

All the money goes to food, supplemented by food bank supplies, but it allows her to live on one meal a day so her children don’t starve.

She gives the children breakfast and they have lunch at school, but she says sharing the evening meal with them is the only time she can eat each day.

Ms Thomson has lost two stones since January 2021 and her size 12 clothes look three sizes too big for her.

Ms Thomson said: ‘I’m lucky if I get one meal a day. I get up every morning and I keep going because I have to, I do it for my kids.

“I am so worried and I cry every day. I’m so afraid of losing my mind, and I used to be such a happy person.

“I worry about my health, I pass out from hunger all the time. I’ve fought and fought and I don’t know what to do anymore.

“In June, my children saw me collapse. I have never been so scared in my life and the impact on their mental health must be terrible.

She encourages the government to intervene to help those who need it most – before they have more “deaths on their hands”.

Ms Thomson said: ‘It’s terrible. The truth is, it’s like everyone is suffering while the people at the top are celebrating. They have to work it out. »

If you’d like to help Ms. Thomson, her GoFundMe page can be found here.

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