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Getting ready for winter when money is tight

Winter can be a challenging enough time, but when money is tight it can be even more so. 

Worrying about heating bills, having to get suitable clothes and shoes for the winter weather, making healthy tasty meals when maybe sometimes you need to rely on the foodbank.

Suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes known as winter depression, worrying about the cost of Christmas, or who you will spend it with, if anyone.

Changes in benefits, insecure employment, needing to replace an essential household item like the cooker but just don't know where the money will come from. 

All of this can make winter a bigger challenge to our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Sometimes there are no easy answers, but if we look at small changes which may help mitigate some of these issues, perhaps we won't feel so overwhelmed.

With partners COPEScotland seeks to launch its keeping well over winter campaign during Challenge Poverty Week 2018. So when donating to a foodbank perhaps consider other items to donate.

Ideas include:

  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tuna in water
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Unsaturated oil
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Dried veg e.g. dried onion Tinned pulses Tinned potatoes and other veg
  • Tinned fruit in juice
  • inned meat
  • Dried fruit
  • Flour
  • Powdered egg
  • Bovril
  • Stock cubes
  • Dried lentils
Other ideas for the winter campaign include:

  • Promoting the tips to stay warm in Winter free flier as widely as possible
  • Promoting where you can get help with fuel costs
  • Promoting the concept of winter dignity baskets and inviting partners and other agencies to consider installing one in their premises
  • Working with partners to identify places in Drumchapel and Yoker where you can access time to relax and use a SAD lamp if Winter depression is an issue for you and encouraging others to consider this in their communities
  • Working with the voices of lived experience to co-design a cookbook on healthy enjoyable meals made from items you would receive from a foodbank:
  • Raising awareness of cupboard staples, so when donating to a foodbank perhaps consider other items to donate
  • COPE Scotland is sponsoring a Christmas Community lunch, which will be free for 100 people to get together, enjoy a meal together and have fun with a festive quiz and prizes 
  • We will also explore with partners how we can work with the local foodbank, so people have Christmas cards to send at Christmas something people have shared has value for them and we have done before 
  • We will also explore with the voices of lived experience, partners and the local foodbank ideas for helping families feel less pressured to meet the costs of Christmas 
  • As the campaign develops and we hear more about what issues people want us to explore we will see what else we can do

None of us alone have all the answers, and sometimes some of the questions and situations don't have any easy answers, but, if we work together and care about each other, then perhaps we can find a way where each of us suffers less.

Our first request is for help to identify recipes to put into the cookbook.

This will involve us sharing what you may commonly receive from a food bank and hearing back what tasty recipes could be made with those ingredients, which we will then make into a wee cookbook and share. 

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