Thankyous and acknowledgements.
To all of my readers and commenters and tweeters and people who send me emails: I’m at the point now where I can’t reply to everything any more. I wish I could, but I get literally hundreds of messages a day and I try to respond to as many as I can, but I do read every single one. And you, you wonderful people, you inspire me every day to carry on writing, cooking, campaigning, questioning. You tell me of what you donate to food banks, where you volunteer, that you’ve used my recipes to get through a bad patch or to teach yourselves to cook – you tell me where you are, where you were, where you’re going and how far you’ve come, and I love to hear from you, so please don’t stop. I often describe myself as being in a publicly elected post – I’m only here (wherever ‘here’ is) because of all my readers, commenters, retweeters, sharers, because of you. I can provide for my little family this year, because of you. And for that I thank you, and I’m overwhelmed by you, and I read and listen to what you say.
And here are a few more thankyous, that have been a long time coming, in no particular order…
To Adrian Sington and Charlotte Ridge at DCD, who are friends first and agents second, for keeping me organised, in the right places and on time, and for being my plus one for scary events!
To Susan Bell, who did the photography for A Girl Called Jack – absolutely stunning work, and I would recommend you all check it out at http://www.susanbellphotography.com
To Max and Liz Haarala Hamilton, who photographed me and my food for the Observer Food Monthly – and whose photo of me eating pasta with my fingers has been printed time and again in several newspapers here and overseas. I love both of you, really enjoyed the day (one of my first ‘proper’ photo shoots and you both made it so easy and comfortable) – and I’d love to work with you again.
To Patrick Butler, who profiled me for the Guardian (Jack Monroe, The face of modern poverty) and nominated me for the Person Of The Year (!) – for kind words, for spreading the word, and for being unafraid to champion my campaign through the press.
To Sarah Bailey and all at Red Magazine, who awarded me a Reds Hot Women Award in 2013 for my blog and campaign work, thank you. To be featured alongside such admirable women as Laura Mvula, and household names like Mary Berry and Alice Temperley is an honour indeed.
To Richard Godwin at the Evening Standard, who wasted no time in interviewing me to slap down the nasty Richard Littlejohn article in the Daily Mail, and to Dan Hambury at Stella Pictures for the accompanying portrait. For more photos of me by Dan, see http://www.stellapictures.co.uk
To Lisa Markwell, Editor of the Independent on Sunday and the first person to mention me in the national press (Hospital food, October 2012), who encouraged me to write my book, and for placing me at #19 on this years Pink List – thank you.
To Ros Wynne-Jones; Daily Mirror columnist, campaigner and friend – an astounding example of true campaign journalism, who continues to inspire me every day.
To Xanthe Clay, who wrote the article ‘My 49p Lunch With A Girl Called Jack’, that led to my subsequent book deal with Penguin, and who gently nudged me towards the stage at the Fortnum and Mason awards – your support has been invaluable in this new and scary world. Thankyou.
To Lindsey Evans, my editor at Penguin, John Hamilton, Tamsin English, Katya Shipster and Emma Brown, for guiding me through the process of ‘writing a book’ and all of the associated gubbins – and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you all soon!
To Richard Baxter, local potter and friend, who gifted me some beautiful hand made plates and bowls that I use in my Guardian shoots – you can check his work out at http://www.richardbaxter.co.uk
To Susan Smillie, my suffering editor at G2 magazine, and Graeme Robertson, for consistently producing brilliant photographs of my food, and the occasional photograph of me that I don’t hate as well – which is a rare thing.
To Mike English, who shot me for Waitrose Kitchen magazine – an excellent photographer and great company too, highly recommended and comes with own studio – check out http://www.mikeenglishphotography.com
To David Loftus, for some fab photographs and for being generally lovely – an absolute pleasure to work with you and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
To Molly Hodson and Chris Johnes and all at the Trussell Trust, for working in partnership with common goals, to ensure people get the help that they need, while we ask the questions in the background. Thankyou and I hope we can continue to work together and campaign together.
To Mora McLagan and all at Oxfam, thankyou for all your support – and to Shane McCracken and the IF bloggers team, thankyou for making the G8 a much less scary place!
To Len McCluskey, thankyou for the support and advice, and thanks to Unite the union for getting behind my latest campaign, #jackspetition, calling for a parliamentary inquiry into food bank use and hunger in the UK.
To Eamonn Holmes, for all of the advice and for telling me that it’s okay to be myself in a world where everyone wants to put me in a box – cheers for taking the time to have a word when I first plonked myself on the Sky News sofa.
To my friends and family who are still here despite all of the madness, my long hours, endless begging emails to sign petitions, clogging up their Facebook feeds with instagrammed pictures of my dinner – I love you all and thank you so much for holding me up this past year. It’s been nuts hasn’t it?
And finally, my son. My darling Small Boy, who gives me a reason every day to fight to make this world a better, fairer, more compassionate place. I love you pickle.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe