Tight budgets, poor diets, judgemental callers

This is a very good description of the lives of the victims of the government’s austerity campaign, who are suffering from hunger and destitution. And it’s getting worse. The ‘I’ newspaper this week announced that about forty million Americans are ‘food insecure’. Which is a high falutin’ way of saying they don’t when their next meal’s coming from, or if it’ll be their last for a long time. As for the reliance on chip shops, we are going back to the time of the First World War here. Around that time and the Great Depression, one authority noted that in many cases it was the chippy that stood between people and starvation, according to a book published back in the 1990s on the Social History of the Potato. This shows just how retrogressive and vicious this government’s policies are. And it should be of real concern that the callers to Campbell’s phone-in believe starvation and malnutrition are due to a lack of education and not knowing how to balance budgets.

Ann McGauran

Mark Bothwell, who's still waiting for his ESA claim to be processed. Mark Bothwell, who’s still waiting for his ESA claim to be processed.

A discussion programme on the Nicky Campbell Radio 5 Live Breakfast show this week on whether a tight budget means a poor diet prompted quite a few callers to make comments including, ‘it’s all down to organising yourself’ or ‘it’s due to a lack of education’. Here at the London food bank, the majority of the people who come here for help know exactly what they should be eating. They know what a healthy diet looks like. They’re just desperate and hungry, and can’t often afford to buy items such as meat or many fresh vegetables. Or anything much at all. That’s why they’ve been given a voucher for the food bank by a frontline care professional such as a GP.

People on low in-work incomes – for example those working two zero-hours contracts paid below the Living…

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