Ted Bruce – Getting ready to take the Challenge

The challenge seems to have really struck a chord with folks I work with. Several have related to me personal stories about life on social assistance – perhaps as a child growing up or about a friend or relative on welfare. I keep expecting someone to tell me that it’s no big deal to manage on $26 of food for a week. But no one has said that. In fact several people have expressed serious concern about my health – and I am only on it for a week. Imagine the health impact for someone facing this as an everday challenge. I am getting lots of advice on how to manage my grocery shopping and diet – again either from personal experience or how someone they know manages on a limited budget. One of my colleagues advised me to think about oatmeal as a core part of the budget. I guess I may have to swallow my “oatmeal is for horses” attitude. Then she brought me a great looking recipe for “no rice risotto”. You got it. Oats instead of rice. Unfortunately it calls for cream cheese and I am pretty certain I can’t afford dairy. Another colleaque suggested rice and lentils.This is all helpful but of course buying food is only one of the issues that surrounds this challenge. It is stress, fatigue and even anxiety that goes with managing on so little – and I have only to mange one week. But nice to see how many people recognize what a significant challenge this budget presents for those who experinence it as an ongoing reality.

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