“I lived with a typical food bank package for three days and it was tough”


Many of us are feeling the pressure right now and the cost of living crisis has prompted some to turn to food banks for support.

The UK has over 2,500 such outlets and some of them offer emergency food packs for three days.

The Trussell Trust donated over 2.1 million food packages across the UK between March 2021 and March 2022.

These packages are designed to provide families with nutritionally balanced staple foods such as canned bread, fruit and vegetables.

So what’s it really like to live off one of the food packages?

HullLive reporter Ivan Morris Poxton shopped for a typical package of food; that’s how it went.

Ivan picked up items from the supermarket that would normally be found in a three-day food bank pack (Image: Ivan Morris Poxton / MEN) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles Ivan’s List of Food Packages Contained: Pudding Can of Rice Canned Tomatoes Canned Apple Slices Canned Beef Stew Spaghetti Packet Pasta Packet Canned Baked Beans Sliced ​​Carrot Box Pasta Sauce Jar Two Packets of Crackers Apple Juice UHT Maturity Milk One can and box of five bags of soup Loaf of bread

This is slightly less than the typical three-day food pack, as it does not contain other essentials such as hygiene products, tea or coffee.

The reporter was not too keen on the long-lasting dairy product (Image: Ivan Morris Poxton / MEN) Ivan’s verdict

As you will quickly notice from the above list, canned foods are of great importance. This is for one simple reason: packaged foods must not be perishable.

This ensures that they can be kept on a food bank for much longer without going to waste and also means that recipients are free to decide which items in their package they should go through first. The same reason applies to the supply of long-life UHT milk.

Food Bank packages are not only designed to support an individual or family for several days, but also to meet nutritional needs with a healthy and balanced diet. This helps explain the somewhat curious mix of objects in the typical food package she lived on.

I got through the three days relatively well. I didn’t bother running out of food and there are still a couple of cans and soup to use. A can opener, a ceramic hob, a saucepan and a microwave were the kitchen utensils that seemed essential to living off food.

Although the food supported Ivan, he didn’t like it very much (Image: Ivan Morris Poxton / MEN)

Together, the typical package of food ensured that he didn’t go hungry. However, that was almost their limit, warding off hunger and providing basic nutrition.

I didn’t really like any of the meals I prepared, apart from the pasta with chopped cherry tomatoes, a quick meal that I sometimes do anyway. Eating has become something of a chore rather than a joy that I personally find it can be, even on its own.

Canned beef stew, supplemented with a side dish of pasta left over from the night before with pasta sauce, and a large bowl of vegetable soup with several slices of bread were the other dinner entrees. The rice pudding and the box of apple slices served me for dessert for two nights, and the bread and soups were also eaten during the day.

I also hate long-term milk with a passion and living on it for three days didn’t change my mind. The meals satisfied my hunger without satisfying my appetite.

They were a means to an end, satisfying basic nutritional needs but not much else. It was a sobering experience that demonstrated the life sustenance provided by food banks, but it also showed how no one would want to rely on food parcels on a regular basis.

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