Dec 3, 2016
'Justice not Charity' says Crowd
Have 'food banks
become a national institution'?
Lama Mugabo, courtesy of Jean Swanson, Activist
keeps us on a hunger binge.
Standing in line for an hour and a half is not fun. I get judged," said
Carmen Paterson, one of about 40 low income people who marched from Carnegie
Centre to the CBC Plaza today to call for Justice, not Charity today.
Today is the 30th year that the CBC has raised
money for the Food Bank, "This is not something to celebrate," said Lama
Mugabo who helped Raise the Rates organize the event. "It's troubling that
food banks have become a national institution"
Joanne Shaw said that she had "felt the shame" of having to use food banks
and being on welfare. "A cheque would last a week and then I'd have to go
three weeks with no money. With no food you become preoccupied with it.
Compassion doesn't buy food," said Shaw. Shaw said it wasn't right to have
to stand in line in the cold at a food bank just for a basic human right.
"If they raised the welfare rates it would help a lot of people."
"It's really really crucial that these rates get raised," said Phoenix
Winter who chaired the Poor People's Radio part of the event. Current
welfare rates are $610 a month for a single person for everything.
Gunargie O'Sullivan said its crucial to raise the rates to help children.
"If you have a child and that child has a birthday, it throws your whole
budget off. Do you celebrate the birthday or pay the hydro?" she asked
People should vote for the government that "listens to the people, not the
rich," added Mugabo. Finishing off the event,
Raise the Rates
volunteer Jean Swanson said that charity can be poor bashing if the giver
feels better than the person who is receiving. Charity also creates the
impression that needs are being met when they aren't, she said. For example,
the $600,000 that the CBC raised last year during their food bank day would
provide about $3 to each person on welfare in BC. "People need thousands
more dollars a year," said Swanson, "not a mere $3."
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