3rd Annual Welfare Food Challenge
Raise the Rates is inviting you to participate in the 3rd Annual Welfare Food Challenge. Starting on October 16, World Food Day, we are inviting British Columbians to eat only what they can purchase with the money welfare recipients receive for one week.
The event is to highlight the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. A single person receives only $610 a month, stuck at this rate for over 7 years. Raise the Rates, with others, is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare; and how this poverty costs the people of BC in human suffering and billions of wasted dollars every year.
The last two year’s Welfare Food Challenges were a success with over 100 people taking part each year from across the province including families, school and university students, elected representatives, people in work and seniors. We gained good mainstream and social media coverage.
This year the Welfare Food Challenge will start on Thursday, October 16, World Food Day, and go through to Wednesday, October 22. For this week, participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $21 dollars. (See here for calculation). This is less money than the last 2 years because, although welfare has remained frozen at $610, gentrification is pushing up rents of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) in the Downtown Eastside. We use the rent for SROs as, “Traditionally, SROs have been the housing of last resort before homelessness” (City of Vancouver).