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  1. ITV Report

The Somerset mum on Universal Credit who cannot afford to feed her children

A mother from Somerset on Universal Credit says she has been forced to turn to a foodbank in order to feed her children.

Lisa Chant, from Peasedown St John, said her monthly benefit payment isn’t enough to cover food for her family.

Instead, she must regularly turn to her local foodbank in Midsomer Norton in order to feed herself and her two children.

Without foodbank donations, Lisa said she wouldn’t be able to survive.

Lisa says she relies on a foodbank in order to feed her two children. Credit: ITV News West Country

"I get paid on the 8th,” she said.

“I normally run out of money between the last two weeks. I try and make it to the last week, but it's normally two weeks."

If I didn't have the foodbank, my kids would have nothing for two weeks.

– Lisa Chant

Universal Credit is designed to simplify the benefits system, by merging six different types of support into one payment.

But the application of it has proved hugely controversial, and some users - like Lisa - have noticed payments vary depending on the length of the month.

124,561
Number of people on Universal Credit in the South West
12,237
Number of people on Universal Credit in Plymouth
10,554
Number of people on Universal Credit in Swindon
8,662
Number of people on Universal Credit in Bristol

"They just want to chuck money at you and let you get on with your life,” Lisa complained.

“They don't help you get into work, they don't help you get your kids into school, they don't even give you a bus travel ticket to help you get to places when it comes to social and things."

Lisa in the Midsomer Norton foodbank Credit: ITV News West Country

“They don't even give you a chance. You've got to support two kids on your own with them pressuring you, making you feel bad, and then they're turning round saying 'when you going to work?'”