Changeworks’ Affordable Living Advisor Chris Clyne took the personal challenge of living off nothing but the contents of an emergency foodbox recently. Chris’s wanted to see how far the food contents would go and pick up any insights along the way.

A foodbox is an emergency food package containing a minimum of three days’ supply of nutritious and non-perishable food which is given to someone in crisis from organisations such as foodbanks, eg Midlothian Foodbank, community groups and churches eg Edinburgh City Mission. Foodboxes are usually provided free or for a small donation.

Chris works with people experiencing hardship and those affected by Welfare Reform through the Midlothian Area Resource Co-ordination for Hardship (MARCH) project.Midlothian Council is working together with Changeworks and Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network (MFIN) to deliver the project.

Chris gives energy advice to Midlothian residents who are worried about their gas or electricity bills or struggling with the cost of keeping their home warm. He also gives advice on food waste and waste prevention to help make food go further and with household budgeting.

During the challenge Chris tried to make meals as interesting as possible with the ingredients provided. He kept notes on his recipes, costs and how the change in diet and food quantities affected both his physical and mental wellbeing.

Speaking of his experience, Chris says, “It’s certainly given me insight into some of the difficulties people face when food is in short supply. “I think this experience will help me relate better with people who are experiencing extreme financial hardship. I’ve more insight into how I could help people in my day to day job.”

To read the full interview with Affordable Living Advisor Chris, visit the Changeworks blog.