Jasmine and Jamiey-Louise’s Story
Family life can be challenging at the best of times, but health complications and financial insecurity make for an especially difficult mix. For Sam and her four girls, Jamiey-Louise (aged 13), Jasmine (11), Cali (4) and Alice (3), these issues caused a lot of stress and anxiety.
"We're a low income, single parent family," says Sam. Trying to budget the weekly food shop has always been hard work. Aren't kids always hungry! Even things like getting the children to school is difficult with no help."
We got to the point where we were quite low in life,” Sam continues. Cali was classed as a failure to thrive when she was a year old and was put on a nasal gastric tube. It was a stressful time for me and the girls." Now four years old, thankfully Cali is doing much better.
“My anxiety got quite bad, just worrying what to do with the children, how to feed them. There’s a lot of guilt I suppose. When the pandemic started, knowing I had to find another meal a day for the eldest two was hard. The healthy stuff is always more expensive! Also finding things to entertain them. Even packs of paper or pens and educational material has an impact on the weekly budget.”
“It made me upset to see my mum so upset,” sighs Jasmine. “Yes,” agrees Jamiey-Louise, “I felt worried because mum was always panicking about stuff. We didn’t have enough money to provide the food for all of us.”
Sam’s family started coming along to TLG Make Lunch at Trinity Life Church several years ago. Make Lunch clubs open during school holidays to provide free, healthy food for disadvantaged families, alongside fun activities, the chance to build strong relationships and find a loving community.
Louise, who runs TLG Make Lunch at the church, says, “We run Make Lunch because I heard that there are, devastatingly, children who go without meals in the holidays. Since we started, we’ve got to know the families really well, we all look forward to seeing each other. That’s what makes it special, the atmosphere and the relationship we all have together. It’s been wonderful to see Cali thriving and growing, as well as supporting the rest of the family.”
Jamiey-Louise continues, “Make Lunch helped us. Everyone is very kind and it gives a chance to be off your phone and to socialise with people and make friends.”
“People would come up to you and see if you’re okay and ask you questions,” says Jasmine. “The cooks are very lovely and they ask you what you want on your food. You can try stuff that you haven’t tried before and you always get fruit and vegetables. There’s a different activity every time you come so sometimes you paint or colour, sometimes you get to make food. I love the creative side of Make Lunch with all the activities. Going and seeing all the kind people there and making friends!”
“The support we get from our local church family certainly helps to lessen the burden,” says Sam. “The anxiety slowly goes down when you’ve got more people to talk to and more familiar faces around. Make lunch always gives us something to look forward to.”
Sam smiles, “The community has been fantastic throughout the COVID-19 crisis. All of the volunteers and people who work behind the scenes at Make Lunch have made a difference.”
“The church family has been fantastic and I love how we will welcome other struggling people in too. Now the pandemic is over, we are just moving forward into another crisis with the cost of living! Over the next few months I’m mainly worried about the energy crisis. What do you prioritise paying - food or energy? It’s a scary time. The more supporting we can do for each other the better.”
We love coming to Make Lunch and it's definitely helped our family.
Thank you TLG!
We must URGENTLY join together to reach struggling children.
With your donations, Make Lunch clubs across the UK will continue to reach families facing food insecurity with meal provision and loving community care.
Thank you for taking action today.