Struggling parents are thinking about ‘shredding up toilet paper’ to bulk out basic meals for their children

29 September 2022, 10:28 | Updated: 29 September 2022, 10:33

Beans, toilet paper and money
Beans, toilet paper and money. Picture: Alamy and Getty images
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Struggling parents are thinking about ‘shredding up toilet paper’ to bulk out basic meals for their children.

Brits desperately trying to get by on benefits, sometimes working two jobs, find they can no longer make ends meet.

Jules, who is a volunteer at group Christian’s Against Poverty, said the number of people who use the service has doubled in six months, with ‘queues down the corridor’ for people getting food and fuel vouchers in a last-ditch attempt to feed their families.

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Speaking about one of the cases she’s dealt with recently, she said: “I hear a lot of very tragic stories but one which bought me to my knees recently and it was a young parent who asked what I thought to adding shredded toilet paper to the baked beans in their children’s meal to bulk it up.”

During the heatwave, when temperatures soared to nearly 40C, people were coming to the charity to pick up fleeces and coats from the clothes bank. Volunteers said they were already stressed about winter and fears about how they would stay warm after energy bills soared.

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The charity’s debt councilling service has also never been more in demand, according to the national director Emma Jackson.

She’s called for urgent support from the UK government and asked them to make sure that social security benefits are increated in line with inflation.

She also wants the government to put a pause on Universal Credit deductions – which are often put in place because of sanctions or advances - to give families ‘breathing space’.