Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
What's Left for Food?
Bif Naked to
take Welfare Food Challenge
Released by Trish Garner, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition/ Photo Tamara
Bif Naked (L to R), Bill Hopwood, Fraser
Stewart, Victoria Bull at a press conference Thursday.
Thursday, October 2 Bif Naked announced the 3rd Annual Welfare Food
Challenge organized by Raise the Rates. The Challenge will run from
Thursday October 16, World Food Day, to Wednesday October the 22. In
this week, people in BC will be eating a ‘welfare diet’ only
spending $21 for a week’s food.
After paying for
shelter, bus pass, basic phone and some basic hygiene, a single
person on welfare of $610 a month has only $21 a week left for food.
This is less than half the amount of money that the Dietitians of
Canada recommend a person should spend for a basic healthy diet.
Bif Naked explained why she is taking the challenge, "I feel it is
part of my responsibility, as a citizen and a human, to address, and
bring awareness to the fact that more people in BC are living below
the poverty line than anywhere else in the country.
really do believe strongly in raising welfare rates. I was on
welfare until I got a job. I know exactly what it is like. $3 a day
for food, let that marinate.”
She encouraged other people across BC to join her taking the
challenge, “The Welfare Food Challenge is important because the only
way our community can truly understand the reality of poverty, is to
walk in the shoes of those who are living and experiencing it, even
if only for a few days. I encourage everyone to try to eat on this
for one week. It will be an enlightening and integral revelation for
many BC families, and it may serve as a real catalyst for change."
Fraser Stewart said, “Living on basic welfare is practically
impossible, health is an issue. The government knows this, but
hasn’t raised welfare in nearly 8 years.” Victoria Bull, who is
raising her grand daughter on welfare, pointed out that, “Living on
welfare is not a choice. Things just happen. Families are struggling
to meet basic needs.”
Bill Hopwood, Raise the Rates Organizer, stated that “Welfare has
not been raised for over 7 years so has fallen in real value by $75.
The government only allows $375 a month for rent and rents have
soared, with the cost of even a single room occupancy now being
around $450, so people go without food to pay for inadequate
Raise the Rents invites people across BC to join the Welfare Food
Challenge with Bif Naked and others to publicize the need for a
raise in welfare as part of a plan to end poverty in BC.
Copyright (c) 2009-2014 The Valley Voice