Figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that 6,690 patients were treated for malnutrition in Britain’s hospitals in 2013-14, a 20 per cent increase on 2012-13.
So great is the increase that the Trussell Trust, a Christian charity determined to follow US evangelical recruitment methods, has nearly reached its “target” of 420 food banks in Britain.
In 2013-14 it provided emergency food provisions to 913,138 people, over a third of them children. In 2012-13 it fed 346,992 people.
Some 13 million people in Britain are living below the government’s official poverty line – nearly 1 in 4 adults. Malnutrition, poverty, Christian evangelism – conditions of life comparable with the worst excesses of Victorian Britain return to confront us. ■