Sent by a spectator and a mom, the author said she was able to provide food and warmth for her children, but that often meant that she herself had to go whole days without eating .
Having lost her job in the first lockdown, the mom spoke of how ‘ashamed’ she was of ‘how far she has fallen’.
Steph read: “I lost my job several months ago during the previous lockdown. I am a single parent with three children aged four to nine.
“I can’t begin to explain how difficult life is financially. I still manage to provide food and heat for the children, but most of the time I don’t eat and sit in the dark and cold after bedtime. I find myself relying on food banks and charity from family and friends.
“But sometimes, without them realizing it, like I took food from their trash that they threw away as expired.
“I am totally ashamed of having fallen so far.
“Fortunately, however, I am not yet in debt. But that will be my next challenge, because I have no more savings now.
“The kids and I made Christmas decorations out of old rolls of toilet paper, tin foil and weird bits and bobs from the Pound Shop.
“I can’t begin to explain how failing I feel, and how I let my children down. I cry as I write this. I am an intelligent woman, but without work I am nothing. ”
Steph, in his own voice, addressed the sender: “To begin with, you are not nothing. You are clearly an amazing mom. What you do is put your children first and for that, all the credit goes to you.
“Thank you for being brave in sending us this letter because there are so many people struggling.
“You see it with the food banks, you see it with all the job losses. ”
Chris Kamara intervened: “It’s so hard to believe that we are in 2020 and that it will continue. ”
* Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 4.