Tracey Kliesch, Day 7

Final Day

It’s our final day on the welfare food challenge! I have been waiting for this to be over since the moment we began. It has been a tough, tough week with lots of moments of reflection.

Attempting to feed yourself on $21 a week consumes (literally) everything you do. I have been constantly making sure that what we have will get us through and always making sure Aiden has enough (which means I take less).

$21 a week takes the joy out of food. It has become a utility with none of the special comforts and pleasures I would normally associate with it. It makes food sad.

$21 a week takes the healing nutrition out of food. Ultimately you end up choosing being satiated (for a little while) over healthy. Think about the long term effects of that. Imagine if you were pregnant, diabetic, etc.

$21 a week keeps you exhausted! With so few calories going in it’s hard to find the energy to want to do anything.

$21 a week makes you think of doing things you would never consider – like stealing food (if I had to feed my kids I would do it), accessing the Food Bank, other charities. If you were on welfare for more than a few weeks you need to subsidize what little you receive.

$21 a week steals your dignity. I used our last few cents to buy Aiden two pieces of sandwich meat at the grocery store yesterday. Two pieces! That was all I could afford. I’ve also had to purchase food from the dollar store – which is not a place I would normally choose to support or shop at.

It’s time to raise the rates. Did you know 30,000 children live like this in BC? Let’s make people aware that this has to stop.

Write your local and federal politicians!

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