Month: July 2013

What can you do to help? Buy someone #22mealsforacoffee (That's 22 meals for the price of a £3 coffee…)

While typing my previous post, I had a bit of a brainwave. And I wonder if I can get something going here, with almost 10,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 Facebook fans, 2,000 Facebook friends, 3,000 email subscribers… I wonder if… If, instead of spending £3 on a coffee today, tomorrow, this week, you could do this instead. Go to your nearest supermarket, and buy the following: (I’ve priced mine at Sainsburys, but other major supermarkets are similarly priced): 2 tins of baked beans – 22p each 1 jar of fish paste – 32p 1 can of sardines – 55p 1 tin of chopped tomatoes – 31p 1 tin of carrots – 20p 1 loaf of bread – 50p 1 jar of jam – 29p 1 bag of pasta – 39p TOTAL: £3.00 And go and put it in a carrier bag and take it straight to your local food bank, or a friend or neighbour in need. Because one latte = 16 slices of bread and jam + 6 portions of beans on toast + 2 portions of pasta with fish paste + 4 portions of pasta with sardines and tomatoes. One latte = 22 meals. No, not nutritionally perfect, but better than hunger. If you have the extra cash, replace the jam with peanut butter. Add some tinned spinach or more tinned tomatoes, some stewed steak or tinned meat....

Read More

Hunger Hurts – Still. A year on…

Today is exactly one year since I typed out, on my battered old Nokia, the words that have been reblogged and repeated in international news reports again and again and again over the last twelve months. The post, entitled ‘Hunger Hurts’, starts with the line: “Today has seen fourteen job applications go in…for care work, shop work, factory work, minimum wage work, any kind of work, because quite simply, this doesn’t work…” I repeated the words in Parliament last month to a shocked, silent assembly: “This morning, Small Boy had one of the last Weetabix, mashed with water, with a glass of tap water to wash it down with. Where’s mummy’s breakfast? He asks, all blue eyes and two year old concern. I tell him I’m not hungry, but the rumbling of my stomach calls me a liar. But these are the things that we do.” Publicly falling apart at the seams, I continued: “People ask me how I can be so strong. People say to me that they admire my spirit. Days like today, sitting on my son’s bed with a friend, numb and staring as I try to work out where the hell to go from here, I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel spirited. I just carry on.” And I did. I carried on. Hunger Hurts was my turning point – the rock bottom that I...

Read More

Behind the scenes at the book shoot…

So today was the first day of shooting my book with the team from Penguin, and it’s been a fun – if exhausting – day. I’ve managed to smuggle my own plates and crockery into the shoot, so eagle eyed readers may recognise some of the bowls, plates, wooden boards and pretty forks salvaged from local charity shops and boot sales over the years… However, my humble kitchen doesn’t have nearly enough crockery to fill a cookbook, so i’m lucky that we were lent some too! And by ‘some’, I mean quite a lot! This is us, at the end of Day One! Left to right – Designer: John Hamilton, Author: Jack Monroe (me!), Editor: Lindsey Evans, Food Stylist: Rob Allison. Photographer: Susan Bell (below) – whose work can be seen at http://www.susanbellphotography.com I had a brilliant – if exhausting – day, and will be joined throughout the week by a host of exciting people – so watch this space! But for now, a cup of lavender tea beckons, and a long, long sleep… Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at...

Read More

Skint Foodies: Jack Monroe on Radio 4, Sun 28 July at 1230

Just a quick heads up for anyone that wants to tune in, I’m on the BBC Food Programme today at 1230 with Sheila Dillon. From the BBC Radio 4 website: “Sheila Dillon meets the cooks specialising in great food on small budgets, part of a world of food blogging influenced by life of benefits, periods of homelessness and shopping budgets that can be as little as ten pounds a week. One of the highest profile blogs is “A Girl called Jack”, written by Jack Monroe, a single mum who lives in Southend-On-Sea. Out of work, having complications with benefits and reduced to feeding her small boy Weetabix mashed with water, she went online to share her experience and started writing about food. What followed was a record of some of the most savvy shopping tips to be found anywhere, from dishes that can be cooked for 27p a portion, through to a forensic guide to every supermarket shelf, freezer cabinet and fresh produce aisle. In a recent report by Oxfam, the numbers of people now using food banks has reached 500,000, linked, charities say, to recent reforms of the benefits system. The government disputes this link, but food insecurity is increasingly found in every region of the UK. Others who have taken to writing about their efforts to cook and eat well on low budgets include Belfast born, now...

Read More

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 240,226 other subscribers.