For Immediate Release
October 15, 2016
Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory
Eating $18 worth of food for a week
5th Annual Welfare Food Challenge starts Sunday, October 16
At the start of the Welfare Food Challenge, some of the 100s of participants from all across BC will explain why they are taking the Challenge and their expectations and concerns.
At the launch will be Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer, Jenny Kwan, MP, and union leaders Victor Elkins (HEU) and Glen Hansman (BC Teachers). They will be joined by other Challenge Takers and people on welfare who live the Challenge every week.
Raise the Rates organizes the Welfare Food Challenge to highlight the extreme poverty of people on welfare. There has been no increase in basic welfare rates in BC for nearly 10 years. Because of soaring rents, a single person on basic welfare has only $18 a week for food.
See how much food people can buy for $18 versus how much food you’d have if you bought a nutritious diet.
Talk to people who are taking the Challenge and find out why they are doing it.
Sunday, October 16, 12:45 pm
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House
573 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Contact Raise the Rates:
- Bill Hopwood: 604 738-1653, 778 686-5293 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Websites: https://welfarefoodchallenge.org/, raisetherates.org
Explanation of Why $18 for food for a week
|Rent (realistic rent for an SRO)*||$479|
|Room damage deposit||$20|
|No bus tickets – walk everywhere||$0|
|Cell phone (to look for work)||$25|
|Total of all non-food expenditures||$534|
|What’s left for food||$76|
$76 x 12 months = $912 for a year
$912 a yr/365 days = $2.50 a day
$2.50 x 7 days = $17.50 a week
Allow $18 for a week’s food
No money for clothes, transit, a coffee, haircuts, or any social life or treats.
* Note on SRO rent:
SROs are the cheapest accommodation in Vancouver.
The City of Vancouver found that the average rent of an SRO is now $479 a month. This contrasts with the Provincial government’s shelter allowance portion of welfare of $375 a month.