Elisha May Walker
I have lived in the Downtown Eastside my entire life. I work at the Saint James Music Academy, a non-profit, free, classical music education program for inner-city kids. I was asked to join the welfare food challenge by my mother.
I at first said no, thinking it would get in the way of functioning at work. On the morning of day 1, I had a change of “heart” and decided to join in. Many of my friends and neighbours have been on, or are on, welfare. I wanted to, before passing judgements on what changes needed to happen, experience what it might feel like to “eat on welfare.” I am most worried about not being able to function, full capacity, at work. I hope that this experience will inspire my friends to try it next time around and I hope that it will give me empathy for all that live a life of $3 a day.