be on the breadline

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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 ?
I'll bet those who say they are on the breadline still have their cans of beer and cigarettes.
The poorest area in Wales is Townhill, in Swansea, where a shocking 38 per cent of people are on the breadline.
They should be trying to help us at a time when rural pubs are on the breadline because of the foot and mouth outbreak.