be on the breadline

be on the breadline

To be very poor, as if one could (or does) rely on food donations to survive. A "breadline" is a line of people seeking food distributed by a charitable or government agency. If I don't make a big sale this week, my family will be on the breadline. Sure, we have money now, but my grandmother grew up in a family that was on the breadline and lived in public housing.
See also: breadline, on
References in periodicals archive ?
W ORK and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has insisted he knows what is like to be on the breadline as he dismissed a petition calling for him to live on PS53 a week as a "complete stunt".