Vancouver – Jessica is the executive director of Megaphone. Megaphone offers meaningful work to people experiencing poverty and homelessness, while building grassroots support to end poverty. I am participating in the challenge because I believe in the power of stories to make change.
According to the National Nutritious Food Basket, the weekly budget necessary to buy nutritious food in B.C. for a single person was roughly $72—four times the $18 you have on social assistance. And it’s steadily going up. But numbers alone don’t move us to action. It’s people that have this power, sharing their stories to help us understand what those numbers mean for daily life. No one who sits down to try to stretch $18 for a week’s worth of food would argue that is enough to live on. No one would decide living like this is fair, or want their loved ones to experience it. By participating in the challenge and sharing my experiences I hope to amplify the voices of people legislated into poverty by the welfare rate, who struggle to get by every month. I participate in solidarity with the many thousands of British Columbians – including some Megaphone vendors – who survive on social assistance. Less than a year out from the 2017 provincial election, we need to make poverty an election issue. $610/month is not enough. Raise the rates!
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