Letter: Help for the hungry

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You have been reporting on the links between poverty, poor nutrition and poor health. Changes in government policy to target the "socially excluded" are at least now being discussed, but I would like to make a plea for local government and health and education authorities to support smaller-scale local initiatives where they already exist, or organise them where they do not.

Such schemes as "buddies" for new (and especially lone) mothers, fruit- and-vegetable purchasing co-operatives and "sink" estate self-improvement teams can start to make a difference sooner rather than later. They are often run on the goodwill of volunteers or started with the aid of "micro- credit", but only need to demonstrate small successes to snowball into something which gives back choice and dignity to a community.

Dr RUTH DALTON

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

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