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2016 Welfare Food Challenge
October 16, 2016- 9:00 am - October 22, 2016- 5:00 pm
This is an invitation to join Raise the Rates’ Annual Welfare Food Challenge in October, 2016. The previous 4 years of the Challenge were all a great success. The Challenge is for one week, eating only what can be purchased with the money a welfare recipient receives.
Over 600 people have so far taken the Challenge and this year, 2016, we aim to make it the biggest ever. Raise the Rates is working hard to make poverty an election issue in 2017.
The Challenge highlights the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. A single person receives only $610 a month, frozen for over 9 years. Raise the Rates, with others, is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare; and how this poverty costs the people of BC in human suffering and billions of wasted dollars every year.
Participants have come from across the province and included families, school and university students, elected representatives, union leaders, businesspeople, workers and seniors, as well as ‘celebrities’ such as Bif Naked.
The Challenge will start on World Food Day, Sunday October 16, 2016 and run for a full 7 days. Due to the rising cost of rent, even for single room occupancy (SRO) in the Downtown Eastside participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $18 dollars (see <a href=”http://Why $18? for calculation). This calculation is based on the expectation that welfare recipients will have to pay rent and damage deposit, cell phone (necessary to look for work and contact the welfare office) and personal hygiene. We have dropped buying bus tickets, which is what many people on welfare often do, so that there is some money left for food. They either walk or hope for the goodwill of bus drivers – which is usually the case, but they do risk a $173 fine. Out of $610 there is very little money left for food.