Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Protestors Target Kwan's Office
Group wants cheap food stores, higher minimum wage
Released by Peter Driftmier, NAFG/
April 9th, a group of over twenty low-income community members and
allies rallied out front of a Ministry of Social Development Office
(2350 Commercial Drive) and then marched to NDP MLA Jenny Kwan’s Office.
Mostly from the Downtown Eastside, the group called on all provincial
politicians to legislate an increase to welfare, disability, and minimum
wage as the key policy changes that could put an end to hunger and
malnutrition. Their chants ranged from “No starvation, in this wealthy
nation”, to “Jenny Kwan, Adrian Dix, Christy Clark- raise the rates!”
Members of the
Downtown Eastside community have gathered together and met over the
last few months dating back to January 2013, and formed the
Neighbourhood Action Food Group. They have found that the food
proportions provide inequalities to the low-income population with
little dignity. The process to distribute community foods with past
expiration dates is still occurring within large food charitable
groups. This is not being practiced by upholding the Regulation of
Food safety laws and policies.
Canada is signatory to the international Human Right to Food, yet
the province of British Columbia legislates housing and income
measures that directly contravene this human right. According to the
Dieticians of Canada, it takes over 60$ of income for an individual
to purchase food for an adequate diet per week. Yet, income
assistance rates amount to less than half this, disability rates
don’t allow for it, and families on low-wages struggle to provide
Charities are unable to help provide for the needs of those dealing
with various issues of social injustice. Exchanges of real life
experiences and research were shared among group members. We’ve
found the results through observations with stories being told on
the treatment of low-income individuals. We believe that charity
groups do have good intentions but majority of the community members
are not accessing adequate and proper nutritional foods.
Neighbourhood Action Food Group wants to see changes when dealing
with local community residence members facing hardships in SROs
(Single Residence Occupancy) with bad cooking facilities or not even
a refrigerator. Most people have visible or hidden disabilities
which can causes their weakened immune systems to shut down when
they are not able to obtain adequate nutrition’s.
Actions we want to see;
Advocate for higher wages, welfare & disability rates in order
to eat and live with dignity
• Lobbying for food equality & education
• More affordable food Stores.
• Stop gentrifying the community with fancy restaurants &
• SRO'S should have proper regulations on Cooking
facilities and kitchen
• Create more community gardens/rooftop gardens within the
• More Community Kitchens in SRO'S for people are in
• We need to address dietary supplements and sensitivity.
• Challenge all food providers to step up to provide good
• Food charities line-up continues to be revolving doors
like an assembling line. (Even in poor weather conditions).
Neighbourhood Action Foods Group: