Participant bio – Lou Black

Name: Lou Black

Live: East Vancouver.

About me: I have a strong and loving relationship with food and I’m a great cook. I love cycling, cross country skiing, and being outside generally. I work at the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) as a Researcher and Policy Analyst. I also volunteer with Raise the Rates.

Why I’m doing the challenge: Before working at HEU, I was a support worker in shelters for 13 years, part time. That work is important and I definitely touched people’s lives, as they touched mine. Shelters, food banks, and other measures that are supposed to be temporary solutions however, don’t address the roots of poverty. A lot of money is spent on those industries. It’s an inefficient use of the money and ineffective. I am convinced that the money would go so much further if it were put directly in the hands of the people who need it. I’m hoping that people will read about the challenge, learn how punitive welfare rates are, and then demand that our provincial government raise those rates.

Worries about doing the challenge: Yup. I’m worried about finding the time to make all of my meals and have my food packed for the day since it doesn’t look like I’m home for dinner any nights this week. I won’t be able to fall back on buying food to go. I’m physically active and I’m definitely worried about not getting enough calories on the days that I do a lot. It’s embarrassing to share, given the struggles that people on welfare face trying to get enough food, but I worry that I’m not going to enjoy the food I’m eating. $26 doesn’t allow you much, if anything, in the way of the ‘extras’ to cook with. I also really crash, can’t think straight, and become downright miserable when I get hungry. In fact, you should probably approach me with caution if you see me this week…

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