Katie Raso

Location: Ottawa. While this is my first year participating in the Welfare Food Challenge, the issue is near and dear to me. I lived in Vancouver for 7 years and am profoundly aware of the high cost of living there. As a former DTES frontline worker, I watched as many of the city’s lower income neighbourhoods gentrified and affordable grocery stores disappeared, making the challenge of filling a basket with $19/week all the more daunting.

But this isn’t just a Vancouver issue or a BC issue. That’s why, as an Ottawa resident, I am participating in this challenge. Everyone in Canada deserves accessible, affordable, and healthy food. Social assistance should be support recipients in living a dignified and healthy life, not be a barrier to it. It’s time to raise the rates.

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