A shocking new report by the council has revealed that Calpol is the most shoplifted item in the borough. Baby products have also been frequently stolen, as desperate residents resort to theft to provide for their families.
Some community members think that drug addicts could also be stealing baby products as they can be sold easily in order to fund their habits.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman expressed his devastation at the situation, saying, “It shows how much the cost-of-living crisis is hurting our residents when they cannot afford basic medicines for their children.”
The borough is one of the poorest in London, with a staggering 39% of its residents living in poverty. As a result, many residents are taking extreme measures to save money, including skipping meals and even not flushing the toilet until they have used it “multiple times.”
Bow Food Bank, which is one of the largest in the borough, is now supporting 800 households every week, with about 50% of people accessing it being in some form of employment.
Mr Rahman has pledged measures to help residents, including free school meals for primary and secondary school-aged children and committing more than £1m to local food hubs. However, he stressed that the council is limited in its capacity to help, and called on the central government to provide more support.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health pointed out that patients can apply for prescription charge exemptions or additional support through the NHS Low Income Scheme, but with so many residents struggling to make ends meet, it seems that more needs to be done.
The report will be discussed at an upcoming meeting, but in the meantime, the people of Tower Hamlets are left to fend for themselves in a difficult and heartbreaking situation.