Mum who survives on just one meal a day says her faith in humanity is restored after thousands donated
Kelly Thomson, who lives on £40 week to feed her and her two children says she feels ‘sick’ at the thought of the new inflation figures
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A starving single mum says her faith in humanity has been restored after generous people donated more than £8,000 in just a few days to help feed her kids.
Kelly Thomson, 43, lives on £40 per week to feed herself and her two kids - and says inflation hikes have already crippled her struggling family.
Although Kelly’s universal credit covers her £1,300 monthly rent and a few other costs, she says she has just £160 a month left for everything else.
The mum-of-two, from Slough, Berkshire, said rising food prices have made it near impossible for her to feed herself as well as her own kids.
She has lost two stone in weight because she only eats once a day, and was forced to take her daughter’s birthday gift to Cash Converters to get money for food.
Twice she has ended up in hospital suffering with malnutrition, she claims - even needing blood transfusions to replenish her depleted iron levels because she can’t afford fresh food.
However, there is a ray of hope for Kelly this week, after people from across the UK donated to her fundraising appeal, which now sits at over £8,000 at the time of writing.
She had originally set a target of just £50.
People have left messages of support for the hard-up mum, who said she was overwhelmed by the generosity.
And she also revealed one person has volunteered to replace her both her children's worn-out school uniforms, while another pledged to buy her food shop each week.
Kelly said: "The offers have been crazy, it's absolutely beautiful. Since the story went out I have had more than 100 messages.
"I can't believe the generosity of people. My faith in humanity has been restored."
‘It’s worse now than ever before’
Kelly is just one person who is suffering amid the cost of living crisis. Last week, new Office for National Statistics data revealed the UK inflation rate is the highest it’s been since 1982, at 10.1%.
Kelly, who has a son, 14, and daughter, 11, said last week: “I hate waking up every morning and thinking ‘oh my God, not again’.
“The cost of living is crazy now and I don’t know what I’m going to do. We have nothing. I honestly feel I’m going to have to resort to begging.
“It’s worse now than ever before. I feel sick over seeing the new inflation rate.
“Everything is more expensive every time I go in the shop and I can’t bear to look at the gas meter.
“I do think about stealing but I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to my kids if I got arrested.
“I just cry every day because it’s getting worse and I feel so trapped, like I’m suffocating and there’s nothing I can do.
“It feels like everything is spiralling out of control - we need someone to step in and help the people that need it.”
Kelly has been struggling to get by since getting long Covid in December 2020, when she was signed off from her job as a cleaner.
She said during winter, she and the kids used to go without power and use candles to light their home because she couldn’t afford to pay the bills.
They all cuddled up in bed together at night to keep warm - with the family relying on neighbours to heat up food.
In desperation Kelly said she took the family TV and her daughter’s smart TV she was given for her birthday to Cash Converters to buy some food.
All the money goes on food, topped up with food bank supplies, but it still leaves Kelly living on one meal a day so her children don’t starve.
She gives the kids breakfast, and they get lunch in school, but she says sharing an evening meal with them is the only time she can feed herself each day.
‘I’m lucky if I get a meal a day’
Kelly has lost two stone since January 2021, and her size 12 clothes look three sizes too big for her.
Kelly said: “I’m lucky if I get a meal a day. I just get up each morning and get on with it because I have to, I do it for my kids.
“I’m so worried and I cry every day. I’m so frightened I’m going to lose my mind, and I used to be such a happy person.
“I’m worried for my health, I’m faint with hunger all the time. I’ve fought and fought and I just don’t know what to do any more.
“In June, my children watched me collapse. I’ve never been so scared in my life and the impact on their mental health must be awful.”
She encourages the government to step in to help those most in need - before they have any more “deaths on their hands”.
Kelly said: “Its terrible. The truth is, its like everyone’s suffering while the people at the top are having a party."
You can still donate to Kelly's fundraiser.