Christie Michael is so worried about protecting her elderly mother that she has not gone outside her front door since the lockdown began in March. She says it is “lonely and isolating” – but the mother and daughter in Essex have also found themselves hungry. Research from Sheffield and Birmingham universities suggests more than 100,000 unpaid carers in the UK have had to rely on food banks during the pandemic. Helen Walker of Carers UK says unpaid carers are at “breaking point”. The study looked at the experiences of people caring for parents and disabled relatives during the lockdown – and found 229,000 unpaid carers were in households where people had “gone hungry”.