KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — A food bank has claimed that children in Cornwall are becoming ill because parents are turning off refrigerators at night to save money during the economic downturn.
The Trudo Food Bank also said that some children were wearing unwashed clothes to school because the parents tried to use washing machines infrequently as they were trying to pay less for electricity.
Simon Fann, the manager of the Truro Food Bank, told the BBC:
“[We have had] reports of children having upset stomachs, or, in worst cases, food poisoning because some parents are turning their fridges and freezers off overnight”.
“The level of need we’re experiencing is now going up and outstripping the donations we’re getting at the moment.
“That might indicate that people who were able to donate are now struggling themselves. They’re not sure about their own food security and so perhaps can’t donate food in the way that they used to.”
Food bank staff added that donations had decreased, while demand for food increased.
This has put even more burden on low-income neighbourhoods.
It claimed that this indicated that families on benefits were struggling to afford basic living expenses, especially after the £20 (RM110)-a-week Universal Credit augmentation introduced to assist users during the Covid-19 outbreak was reduced.
A UK council has become the first in the country to declare a cost of living ‘emergency,’ in the hopes of giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson a wake-up call.
Food banks across the country have received distressing reports of hardship, ranging from a youngster fainting in line due to hunger to parents skipping meals to save money for their children.
Despite providing a crucial and critical lifeline, there are concerns about how food banks will work in the face of soaring demand.’
The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) told Metro UK that this was being fuelled by a growing proportion of youngsters, first-time food bank users, and adults who are trying to get by while working.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning fridges or freezers off “for any amount of time” is not recommended because they were “intended to be kept on all the time” and “it’s crucial for food safety reasons to preserve your food at the appropriate temperature.”