Parents are often the most underrated superheroes in the world. They work hard and make endless sacrifices for the betterment of their families and children. An example is one dad, Wayne, who lost his job in November of 2022. The family has since been facing poverty and he’s sacrificed his daily meals to feed his family.
Losing a Much-Needed Job
It’s seeming that post Covid, inflation has skyrocketed around the world. Companies are trying to gain back lost profits and, in most cases, cut their costs to maximize profits. As a result, products are more expensive, and workers are being let go. The now poverty-stricken dad explained that he went into work one day and was suddenly let go. “We went from a team of 48 to a team of 22. I worked there for eight/nine years, so it was a bit of a shock to the system.”
Struggling Through Poverty
Wayne Baker is a 38-year-old dad, to 12-year-old son Cody. Together they live with Wayne’s partner, 32-year-old Zoe. The family resides in Thurrock, Essex, in England. After Baker lost his job as hod carrier the family faces poverty-stricken conditions. It seems, the layoff couldn’t have come at a worse time. It was just before Cody’s birthday, and of course, Christmas. The family struggled going into the holidays as they were saddened to disappoint Cody. However, Cody understood that things were tight and tried to keep the best spirit possible.
Being a man of honor and pride, the layoff was hard for Baker to face, “It was hard to swallow,” he said. “I think I cried the first time I went, I felt quite embarrassed as I thought: ‘Really, I’ve got to this stage?’”
To make matters worse, he was directed to a food bank. Food banks are a great community resource for providing food to low-income families and those living in poverty. He explains that the food bank has been a really helpful support, but he still worries about from where their next meal will come.
Unfortunately, Food Banks, may also have limited resources. Thereby they’re only meant to supplement a family’s pantry and or kitchen. Because of the limited resources, Wayne has only had one meal a day. He wants to ensure that his son and Zoe are properly fed. As a result, Wayne has lost 42 pounds. While this is an ideal situation for those who diet and exercise, and still struggle to lose weight, it’s not a desirable situation for Wayne or his family.
“I regularly have only one meal a day – one week, I had toast for a week straight, for dinner. He explained, “I would make sure my son ate three meals a day and my partner because I’m not working, so I think I don’t deserve to eat as much as the others as he is going to school and my partner is going to work so they need the energy, and I have lost three stone in the past two months.“
Help from the Community
Thurrock Council has done all they can to make things a little easier on the family. “I have been helped by a woman called Heidi at Thurrock Council. She put me through to (crowdfunding platform) Beam and has helped me throughout the whole process,” Baker explained, “She put me through to the food bank and she bought me a Christmas hamper so I could eat on Christmas Day, but the last two months have definitely been a struggle.”
Baker started a fundraising profile in order to raise the money needed to go back to school. Within a week, the goal had been reached. With those funds, Baker intends to get safety boots and a laptop for training. He’s working toward a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. He hopes to soon pull his family out of poverty and one day be able to help others.
“I didn’t expect the money to be raised so quickly by roughly 30 people,” he said. “It just shows that even though there is a crisis going on, people are still willing to help. It’s a nice feeling and hopefully when I am back on my feet, I can do the same for someone else.”
Poverty has many nations divided but this story goes to show how a little kindness from strangers, and pulling together resources, can help keep families afloat in tough times. Furthermore, Wayne’s determination to get back to work as soon as possible, is proof that not everyone who receives help, takes it for granted.
- “Dad who lost job eats one meal a day to feed his son and partner.” ITV News. January 15, 2023.