This is what living on the edge is like. Carina was a working mom with a job in the tourism sector decimated by the pandemic. With no savings to fall back on, and with her husband’s delivery job earnings nowhere near enough for them to get by, they ended up in a position no one wants to find themselves.
Carina’s quest for help led her to Educare Family Support Service, one of many publicly-funded companies helping families down on their luck in the age of COVID.
Part of a massive church in West London, this cavernous space used to be a pre-school. In normal times, it would see three-year-olds doing what three-year-olds do five days a week. Today, it’s dedicated to something much more pressing: getting food into people’s cupboards.
These hampers are being stuffed with supplies to last families for four days. People used to go to food banks to pick them up. Since the onset of Covid, the whole project has taken on a new dimension: deliveries.
These volunteer drivers will be dropping off food and presents at homes for the next three days, a drop in the bucket given the increasing number of people relying on these supplies. Many of these families have up to six children.
And we all think We're struggling. Carina has had to adapt to her new world: caring for her three-year-old daughter in an apartment with no gardens of her own during lockdown, and looking after her ailing father who lives on his own.
Carina is perhaps one of the tens of thousands of families with or without children for whom survival depends on a food bank this winter.