Letter: Hungry Britain

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The idea that the poor of Britain are going hungry is a pain to all of us who sit with a comfy income. But your article points up some facts that are frustrating for those of us with a practical mind.

Your first mum mentioned, Sharon Thomson, claims that she will walk miles doing careful shopping. She must know open-all-hours shops where small amounts of potatoes, greens or eggs are affordable. Lisa, your second mum, expects that her tea will come from the chip shop. A portion of chips here is 60p.

Sixty pence will buy plenty of old potatoes for boiling and mashing with a knob of marge or even for chipping at home. There will be enough for two or three meals for two. Half a dozen eggs will be 55p. Apples and bananas and oranges can be bought singly. Add a tin of beans and we are on the way to a meal. From the same little shop can come a packet of pasta and a quarter of a pound of cheese and we are on the way to more meals.

No one is teaching basic living skills in school and no one is saying, "Do this, do that," instead of setting up government commissions and wringing their hands in posh newspapers.

JOHN RUSKIN

Barnsley, South Yorkshire

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