Breadline Voices: 'Parents feed their children and are going hungry themselves'

Fruit and vegetables at the Our Food Club in Ramsgate

By Andrea Robinson, Our Kitchen

Andrea Robinson manages the Our Kitchen shop in Margate, which is part of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet, and provides healthy food at affordable prices for people struggling to pay the bills in what is one of the most
deprived areas in Kent.

“We can get 70 to 100 families on our delivery days. We've seen a massive increase from when the £20 Universal Credit uplift was cut. That was literally the catalyst, and it has just gone up and up since that time with new people needing help and some even asking if we can help them with their bills.

"I would say the number of customers has doubled. We have pensioners, people who are homeless, we see families, anyone with children even workers - teachers, policemen, nurses. And that's the thing with the cost of living crisis coming just after the pandemic, it's not just the unemployed struggling literally everyone is in this state of, ‘oh, my goodness, how am I going to pay the bills’? 

“Sometimes people think they're not qualified to come here because they are working, but we explain we're about helping everyone in our community. We want them to eat better. Our strapline is Thanet Feeds Itself Better so that's what we’re about. We encourage people to eat healthier and we get lots of products from local farmers, so we've always got vegetables. We encourage people to cook and give out recipe cards.

Remote video URL

“From our day to day interactions with customers, we see a lot more anxiety around food and the fact people are struggling to feed their family. We’re getting new people joining every day and we're seeing they are worried about the rising cost of electricity and council tax and everything. It's just that pressure of ‘am I going to be able to be okay’? 

“There are many parents who are just ensuring their children are fed and are going hungry themselves. Over Christmas, we had an initiative where we got lots of toys so people would have something to give their children. We just wanted to take away that pressure of these added things. Life is hard but if you’ve got a full stomach it’s less hard.

“There are concerns we might not have enough food coming in to keep up with demand. We are finding it tricky to find good quality food. Sometimes our deliveries are really quite sparse and it is tricky to find good, healthy food at an affordable price because we need our prices to be really low.”


This is part of Breadline Voices, a series from The Food Foundation highlighting the realities faced by millions of families plunged into food and fuel poverty as food prices reach a 40-year high.

Background Pattern

Want to help? Please support our #FeedtheFuture campaign

Are you an MP? Click here for our latest briefing

Are you a food business? Click here for our latest report

Are you a journalist? Click here for our latest work

I am looking for...