Participant bio – Constance Barnes

Name: Constance Barnes

Live: Kitsilano, Vancouver

About myself: Sales & Marketing Manager at Dr.Sun Yat- Sen Classical Chinese Garden; Vancouver Park Board Commissioner and Seeking nomination to be NDP candidate for Vancouver False Creek.

Why doing the Welfare Food Challenge: I am taking the Food Challenge because over 26 years ago my father the late Emery Barnes took a challenge to live on Welfare for one month and sadly I see that not much has changed! I struggled for many years trying to raise 2 young children on social assistance; many times I could not make ends meet and my children suffered. I am in a position as an elected civil servant to raise awareness around the very serious subject of poverty in British Columbia. As my dad would say when I would complain about the world around me, “if you are not looking at how to find a solution you are part of the problem.”

My worries: Many times I work 15 hour days so I need regular vitamins & minerals; there is no way I can afford them on $26. I am quite concerned that by the end of the week I will be tired, depressed, grumpy and not able to work at full capacity. One other concern is that my only means of transportation is my bicycle, at the end of my 9-5 job I sometimes need to refuel with protein to give me the energy to be sharp for the meetings and tasks to come…I would not have this option of the allotted $26 per week.

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