Taller women have an increased risk of developing many types of cancer, compared with their shorter counterparts, according to new research published online today in the Lancet Oncology.
"For a woman of any height, the risk of cancer was 16% greater than for a woman 10 cm shorter. The association was seen across the whole normal range of heights," lead author Jane Green, DPhil, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, told Medscape Medical News.
"Other people have found links between height and some common cancers," Dr. Green said in an interview. "We had a study large enough to examine this link in detail for a range of cancers, and taking into account factors such as smoking and socioeconomic factors, so we were able to extend the previous findings."
Dr. Green and her team assessed the association between height and cancer incidence in the Million Women Study, in which close to 1.3 million middle-aged women in the United Kingdom were enrolled between 1996 and 2001. Their mean age at recruitment was 56.1 years.
Taller women tended to be of higher socioeconomic status, drink more alcohol, be older at first menstruation, have fewer children, be more active, and have their first child later in life than shorter women. They were also less likely to be obese or to be current smokers.
The mean height of the study population was 160.9 cm. The mean height of the tallest women was 174 cm and of the shortest women was 153 cm, for a difference of 21 cm.
The women were followed for a total of 11.7 million person-years, or a median of 9.4 years per woman (interquartile range, 8.4 to 10.2 years). During this time, 97,376 incident cancers occurred.
The study found that the relative risk (RR) for total cancer was 1.16 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.17; P < .0001) for every 10 cm increase in height.
The increased risk was statistically significant for 10 different cancers.
RR for Individual Cancers per 10 cm Increase in Height
Cancer TypeRR95% CI
Malignant melanoma1.321.24–1.40
Central nervous system1.201.12–1.29
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma1.211.14–1.29

The researchers also conducted a meta-analysis, combining their results with those from 10 published prospective studies, and found that the height-associated risk of developing cancer was similar in Europe, North America, Australasia, and Asia.
Asked why she thinks taller people have a greater cancer risk, Dr. Green said: "Taller people have more cells in their bodies, so will have a greater chance of one of those cells developing cancerous changes."
She added that growth hormones, which have been linked both to childhood growth and to cancer, might also play a part.
So What's a Tall Person to Do?
"You can't change your height, nor would most people want to," Dr. Green said. "Being tall has health advantages, including lower risk of heart disease. The increased cancer risk is just part of the picture. Most people are not a lot taller or shorter than average, and their cancer risks will not be greatly affected by their height."
She added that the single most important risk factor for cancer is smoking, "and that is something that can be changed."
Dr. Green said her hope is that the results of this study will contribute to knowledge of how cancers develop.
In an accompanying comment, Andrew G. Renehan, PhD, from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, writes that attained adult height is unlikely to directly modify cancer risk. He calls for future research to explore the predictive value of nutrition, psychosocial stress, and illness during childhood, rather than final adult height.
"Extended follow-up of large childhood cohorts with longitudinal repeated exposure measurements are needed," Dr. Renehan states.
"Assessing these cohorts will need new methods (e.g., latent class analyses) to tease out key factors that influence the subsequent development of height-related cancers," he concludes.
The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK Medical Research Council. Dr. Green has has disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Renehan reports financial relationships with Novo Nordisk.

New fact sheets from Get Ready just in time for National Preparedness Month

With both Get Ready Day and National Preparedness Month just weeks away, now is the time to start gathering materials to use at your preparedness events.
Luckily, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has you covered. The campaign offers more than 50 fact sheets on everything from natural disasters to hand-washing — and almost all of them are also in Spanish.

Even better, the Get Ready campaign debuted more than two dozen new free fact sheets in recent weeks on timely preparedness topics. The PDF materials are perfect to hand out at community events, on campus or at work — or to share with those you care about.

Fact sheets from the Get Ready campaign also offer a perk you won’t find many other places: Personalization with your logo. The campaign provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to add your logo using Word or Acrobat.

The new fact sheets focus on topics such as:

• Natural disasters: Disasters such as volcanoes, landslides, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis are hard to predict. So these new fact sheets tell you how to get ready in advance. They’re a great addition to the other Get Ready fact sheets on disasters, such as heat waves, floods and winter storms.

• Personal preparedness: Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety. That means avoiding infectious diseases spread by mosquitoesstaying safe at large events and knowing what to do if there is a nuclear or radiological disaster. Two of the new fact sheets are aimed just at seniors and schools.

• Indoor preparedness: Disasters and emergencies often happen while you’re inside, so several of the new fact sheets address that setting. Check out the fact sheets on home disasterssafe buildingssheltering in place and food and water safety for tips.

Get Ready Day is Sept. 20 and National Preparedness Month will be observed throughout September. Head to the Get Ready fact sheet page now and make plans to raise awareness in your community!

Crane Jib

Now. This is a really difficult post to write. Because I like Nicholas Crane very much, whose new BBC2 series Town started last night with Ludlow. And I had to turn it off. OK, I did need an early night after a particularly concentrated early doors, but I really did want to sit back and enjoy it. The problem is twofold. Nicholas came to our attention with his trademark umbrella sticking out of his knapsack in the beautifully informative series Map Man. And then he appeared striding around clifftops and harbours in Coast, or at least when that nighthawk Neil Oliver wasn't glowering at us over his shoulder and flicking his raven hair out of his eyes. But something had changed, and I'd like to bet it wasn't Nick's fault. He vocal delivery altered. Suddenly he was talking in a fashion perfected by sports journalist Gary Newbon on 70s Midlands television, and currently irritatingly employed by that girl who does trailers on Radio 2. A sentence that starts, rises up and then dramatically falls back down again. Everytime. It's difficult to put into words, but I hope you know what I'm going on about. The thing is, this isn't how Nick talks. I've met him, and he talks perfectly normally. (Certainly better than me on this particular occasion.) And he was on Front Row with Mark Lawson the other night, and was very enjoyable to listen to. So what happens? It has to be the producers / directors, the ones with headsets and stopwatches saying "Nick darling, we need it like Gary Newbon" as they flick hair out of their eyes. That's the onefold. Number two was the music so thumpingly overlaid. Why? As Nick reluctantly admitted to Mr.Lawson, what was really needed was the natural recorded sound of the townscape. Not the Ride of the Valkeries (again) just because Nick was giving us a nervous grin from a helicopter. Come on BBC, put down your clipboards and puffa jackets a minute and look at how Aubrey Manning did it. And if you haven't heard of him get a DVD of Betjeman out of the archive. Sorry Nick, but don't let them do it to you.

Floor and Table Lamps Decorating Ideas 2011

Complement Your Decor

"Think of a lamp as part of the jewelry of a room," interior designer Judith Balis says. "You need to select the right piece to complement the rest of the room." When choosing lamps, consider the style you're going for in your home first. Is it traditional? Modern? Eclectic? In this bedroom, Balis adds a playful touch to a modern design with quirky, coral-base lamps.

Sleek Shades

If you're going for a modern or contemporary look, think simple and streamlined when selecting lamps. Currently in vogue, slim bases and drum-shaped shades can add height and drama to a space without overpowering its other decor. Design by Troy Beasley.

Timeless Appeal

Shades with a tapered shape tend to blend well with traditional decor. Designer Katie Leavy paired an antique ceramic lamp with colorful Indian textiles and a Chinese wall hanging for a look that's both worldly and classic.

Size It Up

"Like anything else in decorating, you want to be mindful of scale," Balis says. Make sure the size of your lamp is appropriate for its location. You don't want to put a massive lamp on a very small table — not only will it look disproportionate, but it might also be bumped into or knocked over. Likewise, a very small lamp will look out of place in a large room. As for the scale of the lamp itself, the shade should be one-half to three-fourths the size of the base and should hide the internal hardware of the lamp, Balis recommends. Design by Erica Islas.

Translucent vs. Opaque

Another important factor to consider when choosing a lamp shade is how much light you need the lamp to cast. If you want the lamp to illuminate an entire room or provide light for reading, a translucent shade is the best choice. However, if the lamp is strictly an accent piece, try an opaque shade for a dramatic look. Design by Joseph Pubillones.

Proper Placement

After selecting the right lamps, deciding where to put them is just as important. Generally, Balis likes to use floor lamps to illuminate corners and reading areas. "If you have a dark corner in a room, the simple addition of a lamp will work wonders for the way the room feels," Balis says. Table lamps are great for filling out the rest of the room, she says.

Up to the Task

In any room, make sure the lighting you choose is sufficient for the tasks and activities you want to accomplish there. Designer Shane Reilley illuminated this reading area with a geometric floor lamp — a great contrast against the wavy lines of the chaise.

Coordinate the Components

When pairing a lamp shade with a base, Balis says a good rule of thumb is to choose a shade that mimics the shape of the lamp itself. If you have a square base, try a square or rectangular shade. A round or drum-shaped shade works well with a round or bulb-shaped base, while a conical shade is a good fit for a tall, thin base. Design by Daniel Bodenmiller.

Choose Shades With Flair

"If you need to add color or texture to a room, an interesting lampshade will add just the boost you are looking for," Balis says. Look for a shade with a bold pattern, an interesting texture or decorative touches like beads or tassels. Design by Erinn Valencich.

The Importance of Lighting

Without proper lighting, even the most stylish space isn't truly complete. Every room needs a combination of general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting to set a mood and provide sufficient illumination. Table and floor lamps, which typically fall under the task lighting category, are especially important because they play both a functional and decorative role in your home. Size, shape and style all need to be taken into account when selecting lamps to suit both your lighting needs and taste in home decor. Design by Lin Lee.

World Hepatitis Day

Today is World Hepatitis Day. This day was established to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. It provides an opportunity to focus on specific actions such as:

  • strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases;
  • increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration into national immunization programmes; and
  • coordinating a global response to hepatitis.

Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E can cause acute and chronic infection and inflammation of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

For more information: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/world_hepatitis_day/en/index.html

Increase in pertussis

Between Jan. 1 and July 22, 72 pertussis cases were reported to Maine CDC, compared to 20 cases reported for the same period in 2010. Clusters of pertussis cases have been reported in schools, camps, sport teams, and workplaces with the largest number of clusters identified in Penobscot county. Cases range in age from 1 month to 79 years. One infant has recently been hospitalized with life-threatening symptoms.

Pertussis is a highly communicable, vaccine-preventable disease that can last for many weeks. It is transmitted through direct contact with the respiratory secretions of infected people. Symptoms include cough, paroxysms, whoop, and post-tussive vomiting. Pertussis can cause serious illness in infants, children, and adults and can even be life-threatening, especially in infants. More than half of infants less than 1 year of age who get pertussis must be hospitalized.

For more information and clinical guidance, please see this Health Alert.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, My Way

I just saw this on BoingBoing.  Simple but true. 

This image was created by Adam Fields

The people who design government dietary guidelines are gagged by the fact that politics and business are so tightly intertwined in this country.  Their advice will never directly target the primary source of obesity and metabolic dysfunction-- industrially processed food-- because that would hurt corporate profits in one of the country's biggest economic sectors.  You can only squeeze so much profit out of a carrot, so food engineers design "value-added" ultrapalatable/rewarding foods with a larger profit margin.

We don't even have the political will to regulate food advertisements directed at defenseless children, which are systematically training them from an early age to prefer foods that are fattening and unhealthy.  This is supposedly out of a "free market" spirit, but that justification is hollow because processed food manufacturers benefit from tax loopholes and major government subsidies, including programs supporting grain production and the employment of disadvantaged citizens (see Fast Food Nation).

Living Room - Fabric Sofa Sets Designs 2011

Isn’t it time to refresh your living room? Find living room sets in a variety of styles at Living Room Warehouse. This stylish collection ranges from traditional to contemporary and have the comfort you want. Select contemporary living room sets from Italian and European top designers. Living Room furniture has a good track record of great services and quality of furniture. From unique and individual pieces through a complete living room set that is matched and balance for your space, you can find what you need at Living Room Warehouse. Sure to earn the best living room sets in your house today .

Comfortable and stylish, this beautiful sofa set is crafted from hardwood solids and made from high quality materials to last. With plush comfort and elegant design, the Dawson Sofa takes traditional style elements and creates a refreshing feel perfect for any living area. This collection captures a unique style that is as comfortable as it is beautiful. Capture for yourself the sophisticated look of this fabulous furniture for your personal living environment. Add elegance of traditional style to your home with this Dawson Sofa.

The traditional design of the Glory upholstery collection transforms any home environment with unique and fabulous style. The sophisticated beauty of this traditionally patterned nail head accented upholstery comes alive with the comfort of the plush rolled arms and supportive cushions. This Glory Chenille Sofa captures the true essence of grand traditional style. This elegantly crafted sofa is sure to catch your eyes for years to come. This gorgeous Glory upholstery collection will bring classic gentle look and it is sure to light up your living room.

Orderly Audley

I feel the need to impress upon you, dear readers, what an Unmitigatedly good day out is to be had at Audley End House, on the fringes of the delightful Essex town of Saffron Walden. English Heritage do some remarkable things, in this case the superb presentation of a house, a garden, and the attendant detail. A Jacobean house looking out on the formal gardens and surrounding countryside from tall windows with blinds half drawn; walls lined with the stern portraits of ancestral ownership punctuated by Venetian views; warm bright kitchens with copper pans reflecting firelight, pretty Victorian girls shouting to each other over pudding bowls; the heady scents from an expansive walled kitchen garden, grapes inflating in dazzling white greenhouses. So much to delight the eye round every corner. And after all that the Fry Gallery in the town, and a stunning exhibition of Eric Ravilious's Essex paintings. I had to be led out weeping, and into the Kings Arms on Market Hill to gather myself back together.

Interview on Super Human Radio

Today, I did an audio interview with Carl Lanore of Super Human Radio.  Carl seems like a sharp guy who focuses on physical fitness, nutrition, health and aging.  We talked mostly about food reward and body fatness-- I think it went well.  Carl went from obese to fit, and his fat loss experience lines up well with the food reward concept.  As he was losing fat rapidly, he told friends that he had "divorced from flavor", eating plain chicken, sweet potatoes and oatmeal, yet he grew to enjoy simple food over time.

The interview is here.  It also includes an interview of Dr. Matthew Andry about Dr. Loren Cordain's position on dairy; my interview starts at about 57 minutes.  Just to warn you, the website and podcast are both full of ads.

luxury living room curtains Ideas 2011

A print on a half panama fabric.   Great value for money. A nice bright horizontal stripe brings a touch of style to your room. This design is fully lined with an eyelet heading. Matching cushion covers are available to give a finishing touch to the look

These timelessly elegant woven jacquard curtains would be a sophisticated finishing touch for any interior. The beautiful trailing tulips gives a traditional feel whilst the woven quality of the fabric adds a subtle touch of texture.

A geometric top border on a hop sack cloth, for an admirable design. The depth and clarity of the contrast colours on the natural hop sack cloth will fulfil anyone’s wish for a modern and exciting feel.

The ultimate in luxury. Traditional yet Modern. This silk inspired jacquard design is an elegant timeless classic. It will give a stunning finish to any room.

A  faux silk embroidered fabric which creates an ambiance of both calm and vibrancy.  An abstact swirl design with a subtle sheen will give a stunning appearance with great value for money.

This self patterned waffle effect curtain will enhance the ambience of any room they are located. They are lined with matching tie backs and cushion covers.

A  faux silk embroidered fabric which creates an ambiance of both calm and vibrancy.  An abstact swirl design with a subtle sheen will give a stunning appearance with great value for money.

Traditional yet Modern. This design can encompass the whole spectrum of window dressing. These curtains with their metallic yarn expertly woven onto a heavy weight textured fabric would give an excellent finish to any room

An effective spray pattern compromising of the most up to date colour pallet to give this design the real WOW factor. It takes its cue from the most modern trends and yet has its own air of originality. 

Contemporary leaf print design giving a warm autumnal feel.  Luxurious woven pencil pleat curtains with a soft sheen. These sophisticated colour palletts will suit any modern interior.

A large modern floral woven design. Inspired by some of the most up to date designs and incorporating modern manufacturing techniques, to give a contrast of a silk effect flower against a more natural base cloth.

A Stunning modern hopsack design with a faux suede appliqué squares running through the curtain. The density of the hopsack cloth and the faux suede appliqué combine exquisitely to provide a curtain that has a real touch of class and is truly value for money.

A stylish and elegant modern large floral print, printed on a cotton jacquard. This flowing design will make any room feel warm and modern

Classically elegant with timeless appeal, Capesbury is a beautiful vintage floral printed on a linen look ground, which adds a real touch of luxury and completes the antique feel.

A traditionally woven heavy weight tapestry design. This design will bring an air of grandeur to any room in the house, making it feel warm and homely.

A funky modern floral print with an eyelet heading set on a contrast border to give the design a luxurious look. With its blend of vibrant colours and unique design this is to make any room feel warm and look modern.

A contemporary cross stripe chenille and taffeta woven eyelet design which is enhanced with a metallic yarn to give a defining contrast yet delicate ambiance. Suitable for any room. This design is fully lined with an eyelet heading.


Temporary ovarian suppression during chemotherapy in young women with early-stage breast cancer reduced the occurrence of treatment-induced early menopause, according to Italian researchers.
In a phase 3 study, triptorelin, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH), was administered to suppress ovarian function during chemotherapy in the hope of protecting women 18 to 45 years of age from ovarian failure, say the authors, led by Lucia Del Mastro, MD, from the Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro in Genova, Italy. They report their results in the July 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The exact mechanism through which this protection takes place is not known, admit the authors.
Nonetheless, patients randomized to the group that received chemotherapy plus triptorelin had a lower rate of early menopause than those randomized to the group that received chemotherapy alone, for an absolute difference of −17% (8.9% vs 25.9%; P <.001).
Early menopause was defined as either the failure to resume menses or to recover premenopausal levels of estradiol 12 months after the end of chemotherapy.
Triptorelin "can therefore be offered to premenopausal patients with breast cancer who wish to decrease the risk of permanent ovarian failure associated with chemotherapy," conclude the authors.
However, a pair of American breast cancer experts suggest that this conclusion is overreaching.
"Recovery of a single menstrual cycle or premenopausal levels of estradiol are not definitive measures of recovery of ovarian function," write Hope Rugo, MD, and Mitchell Rosen, MD, from the University of California San Francisco, in an editorial accompanying the study.
Furthermore, the editorialists note that a large portion (82%) of the study participants had hormone-receptor-positive disease. If these women recovered their menses after treatment with triptorelin, the study protocol called for the immediate use of 2 more years of ovarian suppression with triptorelin, in addition to 5 years of tamoxifen, to avoid the adverse effects of ovarian-produced estrogen on disease outcome. As a result, "it is impossible to evaluate the effects of ovarian suppression on true recovery of ovarian function or on ovarian reserve," they write. True recovery means long-term recovery, they suggest.
Another problem with the study and its approach is that other research suggests that loss of menses is helpful in the treatment of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, the editorialists note.
They point out that "recent data have confirmed that amenorrhea 12 months after the start of therapy had an important effect on outcome, with an almost 50% relative improvement in risk of recurrence or death in women with hormone-receptor-positive disease and amenorrhea, compared with those with persistent menstrual function" (N Engl J Med. 2010;362:2053-2065).
Because the current study has no information about disease outcome and because women with hormone-receptor-positive disease who had evidence of recovery were immediately resuppressed, per the study protocol (and thus cannot be counted as having long-term recovery of ovarian function), the editorialists believe too much is unknown about ovarian suppression with triptorelin.
Thus, the use of triptorelin is not wholly advisable in women with hormone-sensitive disease, they argue.
The current study — and mixed results from other, smaller studies on this subject — indicate that, for women with hormone-sensitive disease, "the use of GnRH agonists concomitant with chemotherapy cannot be recommended as a standard treatment and should be approached with caution," they write.
The Matter of Fertility
The study, known as PROMISE-GIM6 (Prevention of Menopause Induced by Chemotherapy: A Study in Early Breast Cancer Patients–Gruppo Italiano Mammella 6), was conducted at 16 Italian centers. Between October 2003 and January 2008, the investigators enrolled 281 patients who were premenopausal with stage I to III breast cancer.
Patients received adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment with anthracycline-based chemotherapy, anthracycline plus taxane-based chemotherapy, or CMF-based chemotherapy (100 mg/m2 of oral cyclophosphamide on days 1 to 14 or 600 mg/m2 of intravenous cyclophosphamide on days 1 and 8; 40 mg/m2 of methotrexate on days 1 and 8; and 600 mg/m2 of fluorouracil on days 1 and 8).
The patients randomized to receive triptorelin (n = 148) were given an intramuscular dose of 3.75 mg at least 1 week before starting chemotherapy, and then every 4 weeks for the duration of the treatment, according to the authors.
Women with hormone-receptor-positive disease received 20 mg/day of tamoxifen for 5 years starting after chemotherapy ended.
Predictably, recovery of menses was less common in women receiving tamoxifen, and the protection with triptorelin from early menopause was greater in women with hormone-receptor-negative disease than in those with hormone-receptor-positive disease.
Multivariate analysis showed that only treatment with triptorelin was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing early menopause (odds ratio, 0.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.14 to 0.59; P <.001). Patient age and the type of chemotherapy (taxane- or CMF-containing) did not significantly affect the risk, report the authors.
Although the incidence of early menopause was the primary outcome measure, the investigators say that infertility is another major concern for these young women.
"Young survivors of breast cancer consider premature menopause, sexual dysfunction, and infertility the most distressing aspects of their cancer experience," write the authors, referring to chemotherapy-induced adverse events.
As a strategy to preserve fertility, ovarian suppression has a number of advantages over cryopreservation. It "does not require a male partner, is simple to administer, does not require delaying chemotherapy, and is less invasive and less expensive," the authors say. These 2 approaches to preserving fertility are "not mutually exclusive," they write, adding that "they can be used together to increase the probability of preserving fertility."
The editorialists agree that GnRH agonist therapy during chemotherapy can "potentially expand fertility possibilities." However, they point out that "recovering menses is not the same as fertility preservation." Instead, what matters most is "ovarian reserve," which is an end point that "clearly affects reproductive potential but is more difficult to measure." In short, the resumption of menses is a surrogate marker for fertility.
The editorialists champion reproductive technology for women in the "difficult situation" of being treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. They write: "The most effective option for fertility preservation is assisted reproductive technology with embryo or oocyte cryopreservation, and this option should be discussed with young women facing chemotherapy for breast cancer and other curable malignancies."
This study was sponsored by the Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, and partly supported by a grant from the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Italy. The triptorelin used in the study was provided by Ipsen (Milan, Italy). Dr. Del Mastro reports receiving honoraria for speaking activity from Ipsen. Another author reports receiving payment for lectures from AstraZeneca. Dr. Rugo reports that her institution has received research funding from Pfizer, Novartis, Roche/Genentech, Abbott, Celgene, Merck, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and she reports receiving honoraria from Genomic Health. Dr. Rosen has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Tin News

I wasn't going to comment on the demise of the News of The World, but then rediscovered this on a forgotten shelf. It's an 'O' Gauge tinplate advertisement for nailing up on the fence of Hornby railway stations. Before you ask, the Ashley Archive did grab one of the last copies of NOTW, running out of Sainsbury's with it in a plain wrapper. On reading it I have to say I was very tempted to light the fire with it, but as it's July, blah, blah. I can't help thinking that when this little tin poster was bought, the NOTW was an altogether different kettle of fish 'n' chip wrapper. More vicars caught with their trousers down in vestries than footballers shovelling coke up their noses. Maybe. We never had a Sunday newspaper in our house when I was running my clockwork trainset, and the habit was probably thought of as an integral part of the Devil's tentacles. (Or 'testicles', as an elderly country preacher once said, much to our infinite amusement.) Sharing the same shelf as this were tin ads for Woodbines, Gold Flake, Stephen's Ink and Shell Oil. All I need is a tinplate station fence.

The Food Bank: Would YOU Find This Easy to Access?

The following are the rules for the Food Bank in Kingston. They were given to me in a package from the ODSP office.

One could argue that these rules violate the test for Duty to Accommodate under the Human Rights Code. They also fail the test for Customer Service under the Accessibility for Ontarian's With Disabilities Act; the one that will soon be enforced on the public sector starting in January 2012.

To fully understand the extent of the problem, it is important to be aware of the limits of public transportation in Kingston.

The Food Bank is located too far from a bus stop for some people who can use that service; they have to be able to walk the distance from the bus stop to the Food Bank, and then have to be able to walk back to the bus stop carrying all of that has been received.

Further, if you look at the eligibility criteria to be deemed income eligible for food from the Food Bank, all they will look at is income minus the cost for shelter. It appears no consideration will be given for the cost of transit, phone, disability related expenses, etc.

As an aside, in Kingston the people who use Access Bus pay far more for their bus than those who can take conventional transit. The bus fare is $2.50 times every trip that one takes. There is no discount for buying tickets, there is no option to buy a bus pass, and the City's Transportation Subsidy for Low-Income people cannot be used on Kingston Access Bus. It's a non-profit charitable organization and the city does not contract with them to provide the service.

With this background in mind, I ask you to read the following rules and then decide:
  • How accessible the food would be to you?
  • How you would feel if you had to follow these rules where the onus is placed 100% on you to pick up the food?
I plotted the locations of soup kitchens and the food banks in Kingston on a Google Map. Click Free Food Locations to view it.

Again, I'll ask you, if you have trouble walking or can't afford bus fare, would you be able to access this free food?

Please think about this and then ask questions before you donate food to these places. They are definitely necessary to have in these current economic times, but there is a serious problem when people who really need it, can't walk or afford the bus fare to get there.

Hint: Click on image to see a bigger view.

An typed version follows for those who use screen readers. I rearranged the order slightly so I could keep food bank rules together. The list of Good Food Box items are now listed below.

Food Bank Header with Addresses

The Food Bank Rules

How do I access the Food Bank?
  • You can contact us directly - no referral is required
  • The Food Bank provides temporary and or emergency services
  • You will be asked to come in for a one time brief appointment and show verification of:
    • Income - source of family income - ex: EI, OW, Employment, Disability
    • Family size - ex: other adults in family, number of children
    • Rent - Address - Utilities
    • Personal Identification - picture ID preferred - Health Card or Drivers License
All personal information will be held in strictest confidence
  • Qualifying factors to access the Food Bank are based on total family income vs. shelter costs
  • The number of times you can access the food bank depends on your family income:
    • minimum - 3 times a year
    • maximum of once a month

Listed in the Telephone Directory as:
(613) 544-4534

"Pre-book your order in person!"

Open 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday - We are closed on all holidays and weekends

Orders are booked for the Next Available Day but can be Pre-Booked 3 days in advance

Only emergency, overnight bags are available the same day to those in extreme crisis situations

WHAT TIME DO I PLACE MY ORDER – 8:30 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • You will be asked if there are any changes to your file when you order
  • If there are changes - you will be asked to provide verifications at pickup time
  • NO ORDERS after 2:00 pm - We are closed between 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
WHAT TIME DO I PICK UP MY ORDER – Between 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Be prepared to transport your GROCERIES HOME
    Do this before you bag your bread and other food items
  • Ask our volunteers if you are missing any groceries
WHAT IF I CAN'T PICK UP MY ORDER MYSELF – YOU can make other arrangements
  • YOU can arrange for a DELIVERY SERVICE to deliver your food to your door
  • IN ALL CASES - We will not release your order without your verification - CALL US
  • CALL if you cannot pick up your order – REBOOKING IS AN OPTION
  • Unclaimed hampers "WILL NOT BE REBOOKED" You lose your order that month!
  • If you MISS ANY TWO (2) pickups WITHOUT CALLING to inform US
The Food Bank reserves the right to discontinue services to you in the future!

Questions or Concerns? Please feel free to call us: (613) 544-4534

The Food Sharing Project

in about 75 Kingston /area schools
(613) 530-3514

The Good Food Box

Large Box ($15)

3 lbs bananas
10 lbs potatoes
6 granny smith apples
2 lbs. carrots
2 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 romaine lettuce
6 oranges
1 broccoli
1 cucumber
1 lb pears
1 lb mushrooms
1 celery

Small Box ($10)

3 lbs bananas
5 lbs potatoes
4 granny smith apples
2 lbs. carrots
1 broccoli
1 cucumber
5 oranges
1 lb green pepper
1 romaine lettuce
1/2 lb mushrooms

Fruit Bag ($5)

1.5 lbs bananas
4 red delicious apples
1 honeydew melon
2 oranges
2 kiwis
1 lb pears

Veggie Bag ($5)

1 garlic
1 cucumber
1 lettuce
1/2 lb mushrooms
1 green pepper
green onions
2 tomatoes

Items listed are examples of what you might receive subject to seasonal availability


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Transit: http://wheelchairdemon-transit.blogspot.com
Health: http://wheelchairdemon-health.blogspot.com

Kitchen Storage Ideas 2011

Storage-Savvy Island

Make the most of your kitchen island by converting wasted space into storage space. Here, drawers, cabinets, and arched cubbies with wicker baskets -- along one side of the island -- provide plentiful storage for kitchen essentials while adding interest to the room. A low curving snack bar -- that's at a safe height for small children -- allows for casual dining at one end of the island .

Pullouts that Please

Keep the space surrounding the cooktop clear. Here pullouts on either side of the range provide convenient storage for spices and cooking oils. The pullout shelves put these essentials near eye level, making it easy for the cooks to find exactly what they need. When closed, the tiered pullouts create a hearthlike surround for the appliance .

Store Dishes Down Low

Here a drawer has been outfitted with pegboard inserts. The boards can be sized to fit existing drawers and the pegs can be adjusted to secure stacks of bowls and plates. Store dishes in low drawers -- near the sink or dishwasher -- to minimize overhead lifting and make putting away dishes a snap .

Tackle Spills in a Snap

Meal prep can get messy around the cooktop. Tucked next to the range, this slender pullout with a towel rack keeps linens and paper towels out of sight but within easy reach should spills occur .

Keep Cookbooks Contained

Your cookbooks should be conveniently located without contributing clutter to work areas. Here's a great solution: At the end of this kitchen island, a built-in bookshelf keeps cookbooks off the counter and in one spill-resistant space. Besides giving the cook quick access to recipes, the bookshelf provides warmth and a pop of color to the all-white, fairly formal kitchen .

Hang It Up

Keep pots and pans convenient with a hanging pot rack. Here a stainless-steel rack -- just above the sink -- allows the homeowner to wash pots and pans and hang them up to dry in the same spot .

Store Stuff Below

If a hanging pot rack isn't your style, place pots and pans on a shelf directly underneath the cooktop. In this kitchen, a view-blocking hanging pot rack gave way to gridded shelves below the cooktop. This keeps the look of the kitchen clean. Plus, the open shelves give visual relief to the row of base cabinets .

Show Off Your Wine Storage

Don't have the space for a separate wine bar? You can still showcase your collection by incorporating a wine bar into your kitchen island. This wine center includes a wine cooler for chilling bottles, a built-in rack, and slots for glasses. Just make sure to situate the wine center on the opposite side of the cooking area so it's easily accessible to guests .

Small-Appliance Solution

Keep counters clear and the look of your kitchen flawless by stashing small appliances away. Here a spring-loaded shelf in an island cabinet easily moves the mixer to countertop height. An outlet inside the cabinet eliminates messing with the cord. A deep pullout drawer below corrals other small appliances into one central location .

Ingenious Island

Would a smidge of extra work space and storage be helpful to you? Here two rollout carts -- tucked underneath the island to stay out-of-sight yet easily accessible -- maximize the kitchen's storage and prep space. The carts are equipped with a laminate top to provide an additional work space and extra-deep drawers to accommodate trash and recycling containers in one and dry goods in the other .

A Simple Solution

Store even more in your cabinets by outfitting with organizational inserts and accessories. Here layers of adjustable door racks, shelves, and pullout racks allow the pantry to pack in twice as much stuff and find anything easily .

Mess-Free Message Center

Having a home office or message center in the kitchen can be extremely helpful. However, without sufficient storage, the area can easily be overtaken by clutter. Here a deep upper cabinet conceals a television and keeps books, documents, and office supplies organized and off the counter. A four-cubby desk organizer mounted beneath the upper cabinet functions as a mini mailbox for each family member .

Add a Window Seat

If you have the space in your kitchen, put in a window seat for additional seating and storage. Store special-occasion linens, glassware, flatware, serving pieces, and more in the seat's drawers .

No Wasted Wall Space

Maximize your kitchen's storage potential with floor-to-ceiling cabinets. Here a wall of cabinets with frosted-glass doors creates an open, modern look while concealing any bits of clutter. Inside the cabinets, each shelf has a U-shape cutout in the middle. The design makes it easy to see and reach both deep and shallow kitchen items