£205 raised so far for Oxfam UK – thankyou!

lbl mon lunchtime

Sitting at my desk with a tired head, although the carb-slump is probably not helped by an extraordinarily busy weekend, I thought I would check my Living Below The Line fundraising page for some inspiration and a reminder as to why I’m taking part in the challenge.

So far, by Monday lunchtime and just as I polish off my bowl of cornflakes with a splash of unsweetened soya milk alternative, £205 has been donated to my Live Below The Line page for my chosen charity, Oxfam UK.

Thankyou to everyone who has donated so far, to help combat poverty in the UK. We’re one of the richest countries in the world, and children and families are starving. If you’re as disgusted by that as I am – and I have lived through it and written about it (search ‘Hunger Hurts’ in the search bar) then join me with the Live Below The Line campaign, or donate at https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/agirlcalledjack

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. Can I ask Jack, if you or anyone reading this knows anyone that actually has to live from necessity, not choice on a food bill of £5 a week?.

    I ask this as I grew up in a poor family, in a poor area and can honestly say, that I never knew anyone or any family that was starving, though I know of many children from when I was a child who had to suffer poverty due to their parents decision to spend their money on “other things” as opposed to feeding or clothing their children properly, but was choice not necessity.

    I think that the best thing that your blog highlights for me, is the fact that the majority of us have lost the ability to feed ourselves cost effectively, falling victim to the marketing man and the huge array of processed foods available, and not realising that you can have great food, that can be prepared quickly & cheaply, and I applaud you for showing us what can be achieved on a small budget.

    I really like your blog Jack, and I have read “Hunger hurts” and admire you for the way in which you went about surviving on a small amount of money, (though I did notice that you left your job voluntarily!!), and you have spirit & fight, which comes about from hardship, so don’t lose that now your famous!!.

    • I left my job because I couldn’t find childcare for my son around the fire service shift pattern following a relationship breakdown. It wasn’t redundancy but it wasn’t me skipping out of the door either. I was off sick and ended up ODing on prescription medication because of the stress – and I’m a fighter – so very unlike me at all.

      But yes, I lived through this out of necessity, initially. Now it’s a choice, but only to carefully balance the books while I catch up with bills and arrears accrued while I was unemployed.

      When families get in touch thanking me for sharing how to live on such a small budget, my feet are well and truly still on the ground. It’s why I started writing, because I knew there must be other people out there going through similar things.

      I think it highlights what we take for granted, with convenience food and pre packed sandwiches and stuff you pop in the microwave.

      • Thanks for the reply, though you did duck out of answering my initial question, and I apologise if you felt you needed to explain to me the reasons behind leaving your job.

        I look forward to seeing how your blog evolves.

      • Oh sorry – I got carried away with answering other bits. I know someone who has £2.27 a week to live on until her Income Support is ‘sorted out’. I know people who queue at the local food bank every week and that those five items they get given will be all they eat all week. People’s circumstances are different – some are the result of JSA sanctions, some benefit complications, some more complicated than that. All I know is, people going hungry in one of the richest countries in the world is abysmal.

    • You are so right about the marketing and processed foods. Although not one for pre-packaged foods before finding Jack’s website, her recipes, including making sugar and salt free bread, means passing by the majority of supermarket aisles. Whole trolley of Sainsbury’s Basics last week for £41, excellent value indeed.

  2. Question Jack, is there a way to donate via mail for your cause? Not everyone uses a credit card again now. I’m still using mine so long as I can pay the balance and no interest and get the 1% cash back, but I’ll stop if I think it’s becoming a substitute for budgeting monthly!

    A recent documentary http://www.americanwinterfilm.com/ detailed the lives of some families who fell into financial crisis in one of the nicest US states. People in Britain need to pay attention to what happens to people here in the US when the safety net isn’t intact…with the recent death of Margaret Thatcher and the benefits ‘shake-up’ beginning in the UK today the debate can become polarised- when it really isn’t.

    We are all vulnerable to something!

    And we create systems of fear when people daren’t ask for help when they first need it before a problem becomes a crisis, or alternatively- daren’t sign off benefits because it was so difficult to get them in the first place!

  3. As I thought paypal doesn’t work- I’ve had trouble using it before, I’ll email you.

    ‘I was off sick and ended up ODing on prescription medication because of the stress’

    you were wise to quit, I stuck with a job I was good at because they begged me to stay and I truly thought they cared about me, when it took a huge toll on my health- it was like I’d never existed there! They cost me a tremendous amount financially and emotionally, and spiritually for a long time…

    There are a lot of good people in the world though aren’t there, despite everything ( I think Anne Frank said that )

  4. It really amazes me why people seem to think you should explain yourself and your situation and how it ended up like this usually from males that what don’t have children to look after? Unreal

    • Louise,

      I can’t see from what I wrote, how you have come to think that I was asking Jack to explain herself?! I asked a question, as I wanted to find out if anyone knew anyone that has to live on a £5 a week food bill. It was a question born partly from scepticism and genuine disbelief. Without repeating myself, I grew up poor, in an impoverished area and I am now not anywhere near being rich, or even comfortably off, and having been a single dad who had to watch every penny, I do appreciate what Jack has been through & admire her fight & positivity in the face of hardship.

      If you read the above, you will see that I apologised to Jack, in that she may have felt the need to explain herself.


Leave a Reply