The reality of the cost of living crisis in one of Plymouth's poorest areas

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A grandma from Plymouth says she is having to think twice before using her car, going shopping or throwing away food which has passed its expiry date.

Louise Beer says she and her daughter, who has two young children, are being forced to change their habits as the cost of food and fuel spirals.

Speaking to ITV West Country at the Devonport Food Club, Louise said: "You have to think before you do anything.

"Before you go anywhere in the car - can I walk there? Do I need to do a big shop, or can I get away with what I've got in the freezer?

"It's a bit like the old days, you're using up all your leftovers now rather than going 'it's got a date on it, chuck it in the bin'.

Louise says she is thinking differently about 'use by' dates and frozen food. Credit: ITV News

"Food prices, electric, gas, everything has just gone sky high."

The food club, which was launched just five weeks ago, is not offering free handouts.

People pay an annual fee of just £1, and then they can stock up on supplies for just £2 per bag - much cheaper than a normal shopping trip.

Families can fill up on supplies for £2 per bag. Credit: ITV News

Volunteer Ruth Sayers said: "We are using food which is left over from supermarkets. If we didn't have it, it would be disposed of.

"We find families who are struggling. They've discovered their benefits are not enough to support themselves, and the price of food has gone up.

"We try to look after them as people because there is also the issue of isolation."

According to the latest census, Devonport is one of the poorest areas of Plymouth.

An estimated 32% of children there live in low income families and the average life expectancy is lower than the rest of the city.

As of 2020, more people were claiming Universal Credit in Devonport than in any of Plymouth's other 38 neighbourhoods.