I'm a JSA Claimant

Now working part-time, volunteers part-time. Cares what happens to UK society full-time

I’ve reached the point that I need help from the #foodbank. Something inside me has died

Food bank use is at record high says the headlines. Trussell Trust released figures recently that show that 1,109,309 three day parcels were handed out. The primary reasons are shown below.


For nearly 3 years now I’ve been tweeting about food banks and the efforts made by local communities to support them. For almost 3 years I have shown examples of families who have needed them, some with dramatic stories that normally involve the DWP or another Government department not doing their job or being overly officious. For all that time I have tried not to become one of their statistics but now it has reached a point where I feel I have no choice.

Mine is not a headline grabbing story. Rather it is one of slowly getting into more debt, by a few pounds here and there each week. Since I went off JSA I have struggled to have enough income to pay all my bills, with any small issues, like the washing machine needing replacing last month, becoming a real problem. Bit by bit, week by week I have slid more into debt until this week I reached a crisis point and I knew I had to get help.

Foodbank voucher1.jpg


I contacted my housing association and this morning someone came to see me and issued a voucher to the food bank. The food bank does not open until Tuesday afternoon so I have a few days to wait. This afternoon the electric ran out so I am sat here without food and in the dark, feeling very alone. It reminds me very much of when I was sanctioned. The memories of that experience keep appearing in my mind and it’s not very nice.

The last few weeks have been especially difficult. A delayed payment meant the bank charged me for direct debits I could not honour. That landed me with an unauthorised overdraft and even more charges. To add to that the credit card company and BT have added late fees. I’ve spoken to the bank explaining my situation, but they will not remove the fees. They have, however, stopped any more charges. But those charges and overdraft have meant I cannot buy electric or food.


Being anonymous on social media I am faceless to most of those who read what I share, but behind that mask I am just a person like everyone else. I put on a front that tells people I am okay, when in fact quite the opposite is true. I don’t like to bother people with these troubles as I know all too well that they have their own challenges to cope with. But in not sharing how things really are all I am doing is making it harder for myself.

Am I alone in thinking how odd it is that we have all this technology, all these forms of communication, but at the same time loneliness is increasing and more people are feeling isolated. In our homes we routinely have technology to entertain and communicate, yet millions do not have enough money for food, heating or energy.

Having to use a food bank – having to admit that things are not well and I need help – is really something I don’t want to do. It feels like something in me has died today and I feel very low. I don’t want to be in this place but I am struggling. My pride has taken a really hammering.

Truth be known I don’t want to have to visit the food bank at all, but waiting for them to open is worse. I don’t want to sit without food until Tuesday afternoon. I’ve done this before when I was sanctioned and my mental health collapsed. So to stop that happening again I would ask for your help.

Somewhere on the page is a donate button for Paypal. It was put there for another purpose but it can equally be used to help me out of this problem. If you’re able to help I’d really appreciate it – it will help in ways that are difficult to express. I don’t need a lot, just enough to buy electric and some food. Any small amount will help. Thanks.




116 comments on “I’ve reached the point that I need help from the #foodbank. Something inside me has died

  1. auntiecatherine
    November 21, 2016

    Did you get mine? Kate

  2. Debbie
    November 21, 2016

    Donation sent. I wish I could afford more x

  3. A6er
    November 21, 2016

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating and commented:
    Donated what I can my friend. I pray your situation improves soon.
    Take strength from knowing your presence on Social Media has helped so many like myself see the truth of what these bastard Tories are doing to people like us, the sick, poor and disabled.
    Take care mate, all the best.

  4. rat
    November 21, 2016

    Reblogged this on Rat's Nest.

  5. Pingback: I’ve reached the point that I need help from the #foodbank. Something inside me has died | dcook4real

  6. Toni
    November 22, 2016

    I can only imagine how hard it was for you to write this post and ask for help but I am glad you felt able to.
    This blog and your Twitter feed are helpful to me and so many others to let us know whats going on and pointing us to information we haven’t seen.

    I hope things are a bit easier today for you. I have sent something which I hope helps a little.

    I hope you never need to ask for help again but if you do please do ask.

    Sending best wishes.

  7. amber
    November 22, 2016

    donated,only few pounds – on esa. [think you are a fellow bristolian ? don’t need to answer.]

    • imajsaclaimant
      November 22, 2016

      Not a Bristolian but not far away. I do a fair bit of work in Bristol for Unite Community. Thank you 🙂

  8. A6er
    November 22, 2016

    Did you get my contribution Adam? I left a note on the PayPal receipt saying who it was from. Stay warm and fed brother, SOLIDARITY!

    • A6er
      November 22, 2016

      Forget this post, please delete.
      I saw you did receive it, I’m obviously going blind.

  9. Ali Gallagher
    November 22, 2016

    Due to both parents becoming ill, my family (1 sibling) growing up relied on social security (refuse to use the term welfare or benefits, everyone pays tax in 1 way or another). I’m in my mid 30s n I have never seen this level of hardship n stress so prevalent in our society. Those who have jobs are working 50+ hrs to keep their heads above water n then zonk out in front of the telly knackered. This is happening worldwide, not just here. In Japan, oaps are deliberately getting themselves jailed, just to have a roof over their heads, this was last winter. Oaps housing payment is getting cut if they have a spare bedroom. Rather than each of us paying rent for 1 bed property, we should band together n help each others costs. This could help us feel not so isolated n help create a sense of community, turn our gardens into community grow.
    This is the first time I’ve read ur blog, on carer’s allowance so can only spare £5, been thru all that crap myself with regards to jsa n debt. Maybe change ur bank to something like nationwide, who aren’t in profit for their shareholders but their customers?
    Bud, hang in there, don’t let the bastards get u down!xx☺

    • imajsaclaimant
      November 24, 2016

      I have become aware this is a global issue, not just a problem for certain countries or communities, but thank you for highlighting it here. We should band together but I am not sure that will happen any time soon. It seems to be the right that is taking control which is only going to make things worse. Thank you for the donation, it really does make a difference to my life.

  10. Toni
    November 24, 2016

    I do hope you got the money I sent and the comment I left here a couple of days ago 🙂

    Hope things are better for you today.

    • imajsaclaimant
      November 24, 2016

      Hi Toni, sorry if I didn’t reply before. Things have been a little hectic and I’ve been somewhat distracted…. and thank you for your donation, yesterday I was able to switch on my heating for the first time in an age.

      • Toni
        November 24, 2016

        Really glad to hear about the heating 🙂

        I hadn’t left a comment before so I was wondering if I’d done it right!

  11. Louise
    November 24, 2016

    Hope my small donation can help you out. I am disabled and work for a disability charity. It has never been this bad in the 25 years I have worked. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER XXX

  12. discreetsecuritysolutions
    November 24, 2016

    Absolutely scary that this is modern Britain.

    Drop me a line – Google me then email if you feel comfortable. @discreetsecure

  13. Pingback: Benefit sanctions are more than just a financial penalty – to some households they are devastating. | I'm a JSA Claimant

  14. Julie Cadman
    December 4, 2016

    Are you still needing help? Reply on here if so. I might be able to help. 🙂

    • imajsaclaimant
      December 4, 2016

      My immediate problems have been sorted out now thanks.

      • discreetsecuritysolutions
        December 4, 2016

        Very glad to hear that. If you need a hand in future, drop me a line, I’m not very far away.

  15. Sidney Sid
    March 4, 2017

    Awesome post

  16. Pingback: Benefit sanctioned for not attending 2 appointments I knew nothing about | I'm a JSA Claimant

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This entry was posted on November 19, 2016 by in foodbank and tagged , , , .
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