Jars of pasta and tins on a shelf

Doomsday Cupboard: Build your own foodbank

At the start of lockdown, the UK went into panic mode and many of us stockpiled. Faced with the end of the Universal Credit uplift, as well as rising energy and food prices, it’s a good time to build up some reserves 

It’s a dilemma many of us face every week: “What if our income dried up and all we could feed our families was what’s in the cupboards?”

Now, as millions of us face a £20 cut in our UC payment or adjust to life on a reduced income due to Covid, it’s a question everyone might be starting to ask themselves.

The Trussell Trust reported that almost 100,000 people used a food bank for the first time in 2020. In just the first month of lockdown, foodbanks in the UK reported that demand had tripled and in the year to March they gave out 2.5 million emergency food parcels. 

When Universal Credit was just starting and people waited weeks for their first payment, Quids in! got to thinking. What if we all built our own foodbank? Now we’re revisiting the question.

Lockdown Shutdown

Years back, our grandparents would have had a pantry full of food “just in case”. If we’ve learnt anything over the last months, it’s that a little forward planning can go a long way. Taking our grandparents’ approach means we wouldn’t need to panic-buy.

For some of us, lockdown meant more time to cook at home. We were forced to use up leftovers, reduce waste and be more resourceful when it came to preparing meals. With a bit more time to spare, we could think more about how to manage meals.

Supermarket savings

Even for non-claimants, the benefits of avoiding grocery shopping for a month could be huge. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average household spends £247 a month on food and non-alcoholic drinks.

So even if we’re not skint, it’s worth thinking about what we could do if we shaved a bit off that big lump of money. Supermarkets and the government are now alert to the fact they cannot always guarantee to replenish the shelves. Anything can stop the flow of goods from field to store.

As Quids in! would always say: Don’t fear the worst, just prepare for it. That’s why we call our personal little foodbank our Doomsday Cupboard! Read our tips on stockpiling.In our free download, we teamed up with the food kit people at Foodini Club to create a cheap and easy plan to build our own ‘Doomsday Cupboard’. So whether we aim to save a month’s food costs, need to migrate to Universal Credit, or have to sit out an alien invasion, we’ll keep the family fed.

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