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Melanie Steele

I live in East Vancouver and study dietetics at UBC.This is my first year participating in the Welfare Food Challenge. I hope to raise awareness about food insecurity in British Columbia and encourage support for the Raise the Rates initiative.

Having access to safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food is a critical component to one’s overall health. Without adequate nutrition, there is an increased risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, food insecurity negatively impacts childhood development as well as birth outcomes and maternal health. Increasing welfare rates so that people on income assistance have more money for food will increase the overall health of British Columbians. 21 dollars a week simply isn’t enough. My hope is that participation in this challenge will help change this.

My concern about doing this challenge is my energy level throughout the week. I am an active person, who enjoys running and working out. I will have to put off these activities for the week, and I hope that I will have enough energy to focus on my studies.

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