Tory MP suggests poor families ‘could learn from war generation about cooking good food on a tight budget

Philip Hollobone asked ministers if lessons could be learned from wartime families on “how best to feed our people” – but Labour say he’s unaware of “scale of hunger”

Poor people could learn about nutrition by eating from wartime rations, a Tory MP suggested today.

Philip Hollobone told the Commons low income households should take lessons from the 1940s on how to eat nutritious food on a tight budget.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mp-suggests-poor-families-9651428#ICID

‘Worse than the war’: East Kilbride Loaves and Fishes boss has worst Christmas in over 20 years as desperate families queue round the block for food parcels : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

CHARITY founder Denis Curran MBE looked on in despair as struggling families queued around the block for something to eat at Christmas. Loaves and Fishes chairman Denis Curran making an impassioned plea to the Scottish Parliament. A HEARTBROKEN food bank champion described this as the worst Christmas he has experienced in more than two […]

via ‘Worse than the war’: East Kilbride Loaves and Fishes boss has worst Christmas in over 20 years as desperate families queue round the block for food parcels : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

Malnutrition has tripled since 2008 but the Tories say the cause can’t be identified. It’ll be ESA

Isn’t it interesting that the official figures show malnutrition increasing hugely, year-on-year, from 2008 onwards – the year when Employment and Support Allowance was introduced – but the Conservative Government is insisting that no cause can be identified?

ESA, with the hated, nonsensical Work Capability Assessment that governs whether a claimant qualifies for the benefit, was introduced in 2008.

This Blog ran an article on the increase in malnutrition in November, but reader Tony Dean went further – requesting information from the Department of Health.

In the financial year 2007-8, there were 7,695 primary diagnoses of malnutrition – up from 6,704 the previous year. Secondary diagnoses had fallen from 58,344 the previous year to 57,052.

From then on, the figures started to increase – hugely. In 2015-16 there were 17,166 primary diagnoses of malnutrition and a massive 167,362 secondary diagnoses.

Primary diagnoses describe the most serious or resource-intensive condition suffered by a patient who is hospitalised for any period of time. A secondary diagnosis describes those conditions that coexist at the time of admission, or develop subsequently, and that affect the patient for the current episode of care.

So we are seeing not only an increase in malnutrition as an illness in its own right, but a massive increase in it as a contributory factor to other illnesses.

The information may be found here. It was provided by Health Under-Secretary Nicola Blackwood in response to a question by Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth in November.

Ms Blackwood said: “The cause of the malnutrition is not presented in these figures and it not possible to make assumptions on which factor was responsible for the admission.

read more here: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/21/malnutrition-has-tripled-since-2008-but-the-tories-say-the-cause-cant-be-identified-itll-be-esa/

Christmas at a food bank: ‘They’ve not eaten for three days

North Paddington food bank is in one of the wealthiest parts of London. That doesn’t mean that local people aren’t struggling to get enough to eat

There’s a Barbie sat among other dolls. A dancing monkey. Soft cuddly toys. In a food bank in Paddington, London, volunteer Jane is counting through the donated presents to hand out to children next week. Or, as she puts it to me, for “any who need one”.

For families who don’t have the money for bags of pasta or a tin of meat, Christmas means not only hunger but more costs they can’t afford. “I ask people who come in what they’re doing for Christmas and they look at me like, ‘I’m in a food bank. What can I do for Christmas?’” Jane says.

Look around the food bank’s neighbouring streets and you find yourself in the middle of two-tier Britain: in Jane’s words, a “posh” part of the capital that also runs emergency food parcels out of the local community centre. This month has seen the biggest surge in use in the food bank’s three-year history: last week about 100 people came through the doors in a couple of hours. Kensington and Chelsea – where there are streets where the average property can set a buyer back £8m – is about to shut its food bank. Its users are already coming to Paddington, Jane says.

Jane, 52, started helping at the food bank a year ago, after she was made redundant. She’s familiar with illness – she was a health journalist – but is struck by seeing people hungry. “Not a little bit peckish because they skipped breakfast or haven’t had lunch. But hungry because they haven’t eaten for around three or four days,” she says. “Literally nothing.”

As wages shrink, rents rise and benefits are cut, Jane sees the citizens who could be described as collateral damage: a stroke victim left with large lapses in memory sanctioned by the jobcentre for forgetting an appointment; a care worker earning barely a tenner a day because her travel costs come out of her pocket; a PhD student who lost his house and now lives in a Tesco car park. It’s the dark shadows under people’s eyes that stand out for Jane. Frequently they’re stick-thin; disoriented. Very often they’re on the verge of tears. “They feel they have to apologise for being here,” she says. “We had one pensioner shaking with embarrassment.”

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/15/christmas-food-bank-not-eaten-three-days-paddington-london?CMP=fb_gu

Salford children are suffering malnutrition and Victorian diseases as poverty tightens its grip on the city

Fresh cases of Victorian illnesses have been reported in Salford in shocking report

The number of malnutrition cases in Salford has DOUBLED – with many of the victims children.

Victorian illnesses such as rickets and beriberi – thought to be long eradicated – are on the rise due to food poverty according to a shocking new report/

The number of people being admitted to hospital with the condition doubled over a four year period.

Although health conditions are often a primary cause, Salford council leaders believes that poverty is also to blame.

Paul Dennett, the city’s elected Mayor, told the MEN he would take action, saying: “Poverty which we once thought was relegated to the distant past is cropping up again in Salford – malnutrition, hunger, fuel poverty and homelessness.

“Only yesterday I was contacted by Salford Central Foodbank, reporting their stocks of food were the lowest they had ever been.”

read more here: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-children-suffering-malnutrition-victorian-11919776#

Just About Managing? Tens of thousands of us are sinking.

This was posted on Mumsnet:

“Last week, I reached crisis point.

It feels like this has been looming since I was sanctioned in 2013. Following my sanction, I struggled with depression and agoraphobia brought on by anxiety. I started overeating and put on weight. It’s been a long road back to work and full health – I now work part-time, but my income is not always enough to pay my bills. Bit by bit, I have been sliding into debt.

Then a delayed benefit payment due to a computer error led to bank charges, which put me overdrawn. When it came to going shopping I had no money for food. With no opportunity to get help from family I turned to my housing association. I was given a voucher for the local foodbank, but it didn’t open for a few days so I had to wait. That afternoon, my electric ran out so I sat there in the dark, feeling very alone, with no food to eat, and memories of my sanction filling my mind.

I was sanctioned for not looking for work. Fair punishment you might think, but the reason I wasn’t job hunting was because I was doing a two-week training course in a neighbouring town, leaving home at 7am and returning home at 7pm. I had been instructed not to jobsearch or sign on during that time, but later another adviser disagreed. I lost my £71 a week Jobseekers Allowance for four weeks.

I went without electricity, heating and food for most of the sanction. It climaxed on Christmas day. I spent it watching happy families walk past my window, while I sat silently, dealing with diarrhoea and waiting for it to get dark so I could try to sleep. It wasn’t until I received a Christmas card from a relative with £20 in it that I was able to eat and buy electric for the meter.

Less than two weeks later, I was told by the same Jobcentre adviser that I needed to learn a ‘work ethic’ – something clearly not demonstrated by my 20-year work history. She put me on mandatory work activity – workfare – which meant working full-time for free for four weeks in order to receive my benefits. Effectively, I was being punished for being sanctioned. I didn’t argue with her. Instead I went home, emptied the bathroom cabinet of the various pills I had stored away and tried to end my life. Less than a year before I had been earning £35k at a university in London.

The papers are filled with news about so-called JAMs. These six million families who are ‘just about managing’ will no doubt be hoping that the government will fulfil its promise to make their lives better. But there is another group of families who have lost that hope.

In the run-up to the Autumn Statement, the papers were filled with news about so-called JAMs. These six million families who are ‘just about managing’ will no doubt be hoping that the government will fulfil its promise to make their lives better. But there is another group of families who have lost that hope. They are the ones who have been on the receiving end of harsh cuts to their income, through austere welfare cuts. Most of them also work but live in fear that the government will make their lives even harder.

I am not alone in receiving a sanction. Since the Conservatives were elected in 2010 until June this year around three million individuals have received eight million sanctions. Some may have been able to overturn the decision, but more wouldn’t. The 3m figure doesn’t include family members – mostly children – who are also affected by sanctions. For children living in sanctioned households, schools and foodbanks have become a lifeline, with teachers reportedly using money meant for education to buy food and clothing.

read more here: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/guest_posts/2792299-Guest-post-I-had-to-use-a-foodbank-so-many-people-arent-just-about-managing