Rita Alvarez

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I am a UBC student of Social Work from Richmond, BC. Initially, I took on the challenge to test my resourcefulness, determination and stamina. I have completed the 30 Hour Famine in the past but that was easier because it was only a little over one day whereas this challenge lasts an entire week. Both challenges were tough because I am a foodie who loves to eat. To give you an idea, right when I wake up, I am happy because the new day has begun and I get to eat. On… Read More

Scynthia Ross

It would be an honour to participate in this challenge 🙂 thank you for the opportunity. I am currently on the Ontario Disability Support Program ($1,100 total). My partner receives an Ontario Works cheque ($682). Our household income is $1,782. The rent we pay is $1,150 over half our combined income. After that we have to pay $45 for hydro, then we both each have to pay for our medication around $10 a day, for Rogers cable and Internet, $160 for my cell phone, $59 for my partner’s cell … and whatever… Read More

Tabassum Firoz

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Tabassum is a foodie and cites food as one of her biggest joys in life. When not eating, she is a physician and researcher working in the area of maternal health. She is an advocate for social justice and believes that poverty and inequality is the root of ill health locally and globally. Reflections As a Muslim who is very experienced with fasting, this challenge has been harder than any fast I have done [including this year’s 19 hour fast]. At the end of the fast, I know that I can eat… Read More

Sonja Seher

I live in Kimberley, BC. Here, I have a day job, but spend much of my remaining time volunteering as a food bank hamper filler and fruit gleaner. A glutton for interesting personal challenges (read: punishment), I followed the $26-dollar-per-week diet for 6 weeks in the Spring of 2014. Of course I blogged about it: http://www.26eaten.blogspot.ca. I’ll be dusting the keys off for the Welfare Food Challenge 2015!

Peter Reale

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I was born and raised in Vancouver I have had the opportunity to experience the growth, successes and challenges society faces in Metro Vancouver. I live in Metro Vancouver with my wife and two young kids, where we are all involved in supporting our local community and I constantly reflect on the challenges my kids will face as they get older. I want to ensure they are aware and educated now that allows them to be a part of solutions to improve poverty not just in our local community but inspire change… Read More

Lou Black

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I’m mighty fond of food. I love cycling, cross country skiing, and being outside. I work at the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) as a Researcher and Policy Analyst. Before working at HEU, I was a support worker in shelters for 13 years. Shelters, food banks, and other measures that are supposed to be temporary solutions don’t address the roots of poverty. A lot of money is spent on those industries. I am convinced that the money would go so much further if it were put directly in the hands of the people… Read More

Kristy Yee

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I am a 4th year Dietetics student studying at UBC and I currently live in East Vancouver. I decided to take on this challenge because I feel it is important for me as an upcoming Registered Dietitian to better recognize the food security challenges in this city. This challenge will help me better understand how I can best nutritionally support those with limited resources. Only by immersing oneself into the problems can we find more useful solutions. I hope to share what I will learn in this experience with my friends and… Read More

Elisha May Walker

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I have lived in the Downtown Eastside my entire life. I work at the Saint James Music Academy, a non-profit, free, classical music education program for inner-city kids. I was asked to join the welfare food challenge by my mother. I at first said no, thinking it would get in the way of functioning at work. On the morning of day 1, I had a change of “heart” and decided to join in. Many of my friends and neighbours have been on, or are on, welfare. I wanted to, before passing judgements… Read More

Angela Lam

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I live in east Vancouver and I am the branch manager of Vancity’s Collingwood Branch. I want to participate in the challenge to get a better understanding of one of the many different challenges for those living on welfare face and help the cause by raising more awareness to the issue and advocate for change. Aside from little money for food, there are other obstacles for people facing poverty such as low wages, homelessness or lack of affordable housing, lack of affordable child care and other barriers and if you don’t experience… Read More

Ryan Tang

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I live in East Vancouver I work in Strathcona and the DTES and am part of a non-profit. I’m learning about the realities of the city and how beauty and transformation are happening. I’m taking the challenge with my friends to raise awareness in my circles of influence, to re-kindle solidarity and empathy, and as a plead to the government to raise the freaking rates!! (seriously. Its been too long.) I blog at http://www.beyondthegreatwalls.com/blog

Mei H.

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Year 4, UBC Food, Nutrition & Health Like many students in my program, I love food and so you may find me snacking behind my bag or thinking about my next meal after I finish one. What I’m most passionate about is learning how food and nutrition affects our body from birth to old age and exploring the multifaceted nature of nutrition. Beyond vitamins and minerals, I also enjoy promoting and taking part in health and wellness initiatives within diverse communities. When I’m not studying and working in the community, I may… Read More

Jenny Kwan

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Jenny immigrated to Canada with her family in 1976. For the first two years, her mother worked as a farm worker to support the family. She earned $10/day to support a family of eight while her father went to Vancouver Community College to learn English as a Second Language. Jenny’s life experiences led her to become a community legal advocate in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. She is a tireless fighter for the people of East Van and a fierce advocate for equality and justice. In 1993, she became the youngest Vancouver councillor and… Read More

Brigit King

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I will be participating in the Raise the Rates 4th Annual Welfare Food Challenge alongside my partner, Colby Innes. We reside in New Westminster, British Columbia. I am an account manager at Vancity’s South Burnaby Community Branch and Colby works as a mechanic in Surrey. Through my role at Vancity, I have the opportunity to work with many low-income members. I have experienced few moments as poignant as completing a budgeting plan and realizing that the individual in front of me does not have enough money for food, never mind retirement savings… Read More

Zeenat Ali

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I work at Vancity. As a Vancouver native, I know of many people who have at one time or another, struggled to make ends meet. The Welfare Food Challenge is an opportunity to raise awareness that access to nutritious and affordable good should be accessible to everyone. Every person has a right to live a life of dignity and self-respect. The current welfare rates make it next to impossible to empower users of the program to rise above their current hardships. At the very least, the welfare amounts should provide a reasonable… Read More

Donna Jean MacKinnon

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I am a community activist and mother to two homeschooled children aged 6 and 11. I am doing the Challenge to see for myself in a very concrete way, how little $21 will buy. It is also to show my children and to use it as a springboard for further discussion about social welfare, social justice, budgeting, and the (in)ability to make many of the healthy food choices we may want to, given limited funds and the long term health and quality of life issues that follow. So many related issues and… Read More

Audrey Anne Guay

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I recently moved to the Downtown Eastside/Strathcona area of Vancouver, where I am involved with a small community church and spend most of my time learning about urban poverty, social justice, and community organizing. I am taking the Challenge out of solidarity with my neighbours, many of whom are low-income and live on welfare rates. I am increasingly awed at my new friends’ resourcefulness and resilience in this food system that does not work. My hope is to better understand the limits that are daily imposed on them as they attempt to… Read More

Victor Elkins

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Lives: Kitsilano About Me: I am the President of the Hospital Employees Union (HEU). I am a long-time activist, and have spent more than two decades advocating for and defending public health care, workers’ rights, and human rights. I have been foster parenting many amazing children for the last 15 years. Why I’m doing the Challenge for the 2nd Year in a row: I have witnessed the impacts that poverty has had on some of the kids I’ve fostered, and the disadvantages they begin their lives with as a result. They have… Read More

Tiffene Toth

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I am in grade 12 at RE Mountain Secondary in Langley. I have decided join my mom and do the Welfare Food Challenge in order to bring awareness to what a person on welfare would have to eat each week. By making just one post on Facebook about this challenge and posting a picture of the food that we bought it generated questions from some of my friends at school. I have no idea how I’m going to feel but I am willing to try. I want to try and see what… Read More

Tanis Clement

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I am an Assistant Branch Manager at Vancity Savings Credit Union in Victoria, BC I was born and raised in a small town in Northern BC where my family experienced many of our small town’s industry booms and busts. Unfortunately the busts left our family with not much to rely on. The economy wasn’t always stable. It left us in some pretty tough times. Spending my $21 for this week brought back a lot of memories: Lots of meal planning, strategic spending – putting items back after we got to the grocery… Read More

Tracie Cheung and Gary Doyle

Photo of Tracie Cheung and Gary Doyle.

A little about us…we are getting married next year and haven’t really cooked much together. We rarely do any grocery shopping either. We saw this challenge as a way to gain insight on how it may be for people on welfare. We know it is extremely difficult and hope to learn about some of the hardships others face.

Melanie Steele

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I live in East Vancouver and study dietetics at UBC.This is my first year participating in the Welfare Food Challenge. I hope to raise awareness about food insecurity in British Columbia and encourage support for the Raise the Rates initiative. Having access to safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food is a critical component to one’s overall health. Without adequate nutrition, there is an increased risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, food insecurity negatively impacts childhood development as well as birth outcomes and maternal health. Increasing welfare rates… Read More

Lily Wong

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I live in Vancouver and I am a social work student at UBC. I am participating in the challenge because I want to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and hardships that come along with having low income in Vancouver. One concern would be not having a lot of energy to focus on school due to the limited amount of food. https://wongconfessions.wordpress.com/

Larissa Facette

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I’m from Northern BC. I’m a mom and a business owner/operator. I love the outdoors, hiking, quadding, sledding, camping, gardening and all that jazz. I decided to join in Raise the Rates’ Welfare Food Challenge to show others just how difficult it can be to make ends meet when your a single parent/person on assistance. Hopefully, I can make at least one person open their eyes and see what others go thru on a weekly basis. I’ve started a blog (bear with me I’m New at this) over at lunamortis.weebly.com

Kim Eaton

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I live near Commercial in East Vancouver. I am a retired teacher and have recently moved to Vancouver with my wife Barbara Ryeburn who works at the BC Teachers’ Federating, Social Justice sector. I am taking the challenge to support my wife who is also doing it and I don’t want to be a negative influence during the week. Also I notice that there were no male photos on your photo page (as of yesterday morning) and I believe men should also be present. I have no worries about doing the challenge… Read More

John DeRose

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I am employed by Vancity as the Director of Mobile Sales. I was born and raised in Vancouver. We are very privileged to live in such a beautiful part of this world and we take so much for granted. While this is a short-term Challenge, it will allow me to share my experience and help raise awareness of this critical issue. Many men, women and children live in poverty today and it is not humanely right. I’m already feeling the pain after doing my shopping with $21.00! Change is needed.

Eleanor Wong

I live in Vancouver and work at Vancity. I am taking on this challenge is to increase social awareness about the issue of living in poverty and to create conversation around welfare and that it can happen to anybody. Even from the introductory briefing of this challenge, I have learned much already and feel deep appreciation for this initiative. No one chooses to live this way. With a busy family and work life, this is an opportunity to break up the routine and the bubble some of us live in. This experience… Read More

Elizabeth Yu

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I grew up and still currently live in East Vancouver. I am a 3rd year Dietetics student studying at the University of British Columbia. I am participating in the Welfare Food Challenge this year after learning about the challenges that welfare users face with only a mere $610 per month to meet their basic needs and the lack of poverty reduction strategies and food security initiatives in B.C. Many of us are very lucky to be able to choose what we eat each day and be nourished by healthy, whole foods. However,… Read More

Earyn Wheatley & Deanna Ogle

Photo of Earyn Wheatley & Deanna Ogle:.

Both Deanna and Earyn have first-hand experiences with poverty. LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience poverty and precarious housing, and this was certainly true of their experiences as youth. Earyn and Deanna are both active in social justice organizations. Deanna is the Campaign Organizer for the Living Wage for Families Campaign (www.livingwageforfamilies.ca) and Earyn is a Mobilization Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada (www.greenpeace.org). Issues of climate change, food security and poverty are deeply connected although we don’t always think of those connections when talking about government policies or the price of groceries… Read More

Alena & Adam Spears

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We live in North Vancouver. I wanted to do the Challenge because I work with people everyday who are struggling on a tight budget to eat healthy food. I work as a registered dietitian in Vancouver, BC and most of my clients are living below the poverty line. I wanted to experience in one week, part of what they experience for weeks, months or years. Adam is doing this partly because he finds the concept interesting and partly because I told him he was doing it, ha! We went shopping today. We… Read More

Victor Li

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Currently I am a student working part time as a cook. I have been a cook for the past 10 years of my life. However, I have recently decided to enter into the world of healthcare. Not only do I wish to help the privileged but to help those who truly are unprivileged. For the most part I live a pretty simple lifestyle. Being a foodie, I am often spending more then I should on food. Food, clothing and shelter are the basic necessities of survival. Most of the time we take… Read More

Stephanie Smith

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Stephanie was elected as the first woman President of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) in May, 2014. She had previously served as the Union’s Treasurer. She has been a longtime activist with the Union and worked as an early childhood educator in Vancouver. She is a single mother of two and lives in Richmond. The BCGEU represents 65,000 workers in BC in the public service, including the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation and in the broader public and private sectors. Smith says, “Many of our members… Read More

Ryan Guldemond

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Ryan founded Vancouver indie pop/rock group Mother Mother in 2005. Helming production and songwriting duties on most of Mother Mother’s releases, in addition to his role as frontman, Guldemond’s efforts yielded the group eight Top 10 alternative pop singles to date, as well as Guldemond’s first Juno nod as producer for the group’s fourth LP The Sticks. Now with Universal Music, Ryan and Mother Mother’s success continues with LP5, Very Good Bad Thing, nominated for Group of the Year at the 2015 JUNO Awards. Guldemond has further honed his craft on projects… Read More

Mairi Buhler

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I was born and raised on the North Shore and have been fortunate enough to continue living here into my adult life. I live with my husband and my three cats. Professionally, I work as a Registered Dietitian in a Diabetes Centre in the public healthcare system. Outside of my professional job I volunteer worth with a local cat rescue organization, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). Helping my clients successfully navigate the health care system and animal rescue are my two passions in life. I am taking this challenge primarily because… Read More

The Stott Family

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My name is Sarah, and along with my husband Darren, son James (9) and daughter Emma (7), we’re a little nervous for what this Challenge week will have in store for us! I work at Vancity as a Marketing Manager, and Darren is a business consultant in the local, organic food industry, so social impact and food are at the core of our life choices. Living in East Vancouver also means we bump into the effects of poverty on a daily basis, and we try our best to educate our kids around… Read More

Laurel Burton

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I live in East Vancouver. I am in my 4th year of the Dietetics Program at UBC. I am taking the Welfare Food Challenge in order to raise awareness about the cost of food in Vancouver, especially for those who are Welfare recipients. As a nutrition student, I am attuned to the health issues that people face when they do not have enough healthy, nutrient dense food to eat. Surviving on $21 per week can be very difficult for people to meet daily requirements for calories, macronutrients and micronutrients, which can lead… Read More

Kelly Parton

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I am doing the Welfare Food Challenge because the word needs to get out that we have a whole sector of our society that is struggling, often going unnoticed and this is a chance to shine the spotlight on the welfare recipients and walk in their shoes for a week. This is my 2nd time doing the challenge. I have spent $17.25 and have $3.75 in reserve for a midweek purchase. I took a photo of the food I purchased last night.

Ashley Bodkin and Vaughn

Photo of Ashley Bodkin and Vaughan

I recently moved, with my boyfriend Vaughan, from Burnaby to East Vancouver and are adjusting to our new community. I work as an Account Manager at Vancity Credit Union in south Burnaby. I’m taking the challenge to start a conversation with my friends and family about how the money received while on welfare maybe enough to live but it is not enough to live a healthy lifestyle. Luckily my boyfriend has been extremely supportive and has agreed to do the challenge with me. He works away from home with shift that are… Read More

Annie Ohana

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I live in Surrey, BC, I am a secondary school teacher, a social justice advocate/educator, a master’s student and a human being. Why I am taking the Challenge: I wish I didn’t have to. The reality that we have thousands of people in our province that are dealing with poverty, and no one listens. Shame on all of us. This isn’t just about how much welfare rates are and how much food costs; this is about our rights as human beings being denied by our government but also the lack of understanding… Read More

Wendy Au Yeung

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I recently moved to Vancouver. I live and work in the Downtown Eastside/ Strathcona, where I am involved in community organizing and at a local church. I’m very passionate about food justice, and food in general, and I am heartbroken at how current government policies don’t allow people to have a healthy diet, and not allowing welfare recipients to thrive in other arenas of life either. I’m doing the Welfare Food challenge to get a personal snapshot what it’s really like to live on welfare in my neighbourhood in order to inform… Read More

Sarah Khan

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I am a staff lawyer at the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Vancouver. Part of my job is to represent people on welfare in cases challenging unfair welfare laws, policies and practices. Welfare rates are far too low in BC for people to be able to live with any dignity. Every day I hear about the struggles that people on welfare face as a result of having virtually no money. I have joined this Challenge as I admire the work of the Raise the Rates campaign in bringing attention to the… Read More

Miranda Means

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I am doing the Challenge to spread awareness. I was on foodstamps in 2015 when I was in a car accident that left my fiancé doa & me in an intensive care unit. I had injuries leaving me unable to work my 2 jobs. I found myself quickly broke and homeless, living on very little assistance. People need to realize that if you are on welfare you are not automatically a mooch. People have medical problems or other reasons they can’t control.

Melanie Mark

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I was born and raised in Vancouver. I have nearly 20 years experience working directly with and on behalf of children, families and vulnerable persons impacted by the child serving and criminal justice systems. I worked as a Child and Youth Advocate with the BC Representative for Children and Youth since its inception in April 2007. In 2013 I became the Associate Deputy Representative, responsible for Advocacy, Aboriginal Relations, Community Outreach and Youth Engagement throughout the province. I am a passionate and experienced human rights advocate, with a Bachelor of Arts degree… Read More

Dr. Macarena Cataldo

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I was born in Valparaíso, Chile, and studied chemical engineer. I got my PhD in Italy and I am currently undertaking postdoctoral studies in water treatment at UBC. I accepted the Welfare Food Challenge because I strongly believe that people who are living in poverty should have enough financial support from the government so as to be able to have a decent humane life. This includes being able to pay for a place to live and other necessary expenses, but most importantly to have enough money to eat. The amount of money… Read More

Kristin Schreckenbach

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I live in North Burnaby and work for Vancity Credit Union as the branch manager at the Victoria Drive Community Branch. This Challenge was brought forward by a colleague and as I started looking further into the Challenge, this was one I did not want to pass up. This challenge will allow me to gain firsthand experience to a struggle a lot of people face and raise the awareness to friends, family and strangers.

Jennifer Chieh Ho

Photo of Jennifer Chieh Ho

I live and work in Surrey, BC. I am a full time employed worker who deals with the public. Social justice and human rights are dear to my heart and that is the reason why I am a strong activist. I am taking the Challenge because I want to respect the challenges of those who are less fortunate to make choices of what they can afford to eat and live on. I am fortunate and thankful that I can make these choices. My worries about the challenge is whether or not I… Read More

Barb Ryeburn

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I have been a Student Services teacher in an elementary school in Cranbrook for over 20 years. This September, I moved to Vancouver to begin work as Social Justice Coordinator with the BC Teachers’ Federation. I have also been involved in a number of volunteer activities. I am a director of a refugee sponsorship group, East Kootenay Friends of Burma and have volunteered as a counsellor with Options for Sexual Health. I have been involved with my local and provincial teachers’ unions in a number of activities and committees supporting social justice… Read More

Bif Naked

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My Name is Bif Naked, and for the second year in a row, I am Taking The Welfare Food Challenge. I’m an International Recording Artist, Activist, and Volunteer, humbly and gratefully living in unceded Coast Salish Territory. I decided to take the “Welfare Food Challenge” partly because it was socio-politically important to me, and partly because I think it’s important to fight injustice and use my voice. And, the reality is: welfare rates in this province are simply inadequate. And that is an injustice. My parents were Civil Rights Activists and we… Read More

Tracey Kliesch and Family

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I work in the Community Investment division at Vancity as a Portfolio Manager and I’m also a part-time instructor at BCIT. I teach a course on Co-operatives and Community Economic Development. In my role at Vancity I have relationships with many different community organizations and I have been fortunate to get to know some incredible groups who are making a difference in the lives of the people they serve. My work has also helped me to understand the disparities that many face and the obstacles and barriers that make positive change difficult…. Read More

Susan Martin

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I live in Victoria, BC. I returned to Canada in July 2014 after spending two years in Sweden doing a Master’s in International Health (which is Public Health with a focus on low and middle income countries). I really noticed a further ‘fraying’ of the social safety net from when I had left in 2012 as well as a dramatic increase in the price of groceries. I live alone and am still unemployed after more than a year of job seeking despite plenty of experience in the workplace and good academic credentials…. Read More

Sharon Feener

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I run the local food bank in Fort St John. Every day I see people come to us for help when they just can’t stretch what they have to make it through the month. SRO’s here go for $650 a month, so what do people do after that? We’re seeing people who, when they are able to save some money, are struggling with the high prices we see in our grocery stores. I’m taking the challenge for a couple of reasons. 1) Its a good way to draw attention to an urgent… Read More

Lindsay Bissett

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Community Investment Specialist, Vancity I am taking the Welfare Food Challenge because when I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money, my mom was a single parent who always did the best she could but typically worked minimum wage jobs to get by while raising three kids. She worked all hours and I pitched in a lot to help get my siblings ready each morning, get food in their bellies, to school etc. I want to go back to my roots in a way to perhaps appreciate the struggle… Read More

Jennifer Taylor

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Resident of Coquitlam, BC. I currently work as a Community Branch Manager at Vancity. At Vancity we work closely with our partners to build healthy communities. Many people in our communities are faced with impossible decisions such as whether to buy food, medications or pay rent. These are basic human needs that I believe should be accessible to all without sacrifice. I hope that by participating in this challenge I will be able to raise awareness for this important issue and help drive the change that is needed.

Ilene Toth

Photo of Ilene Toth

I live with my husband in Langley raising our 8 children and working fulltime in Vancouver at Vancity as a Learning Coordinator with People Solutions (Human Resources.) I am taking this challenge to bring more awareness to the Welfare and Homeless situation in British Columbia. I really want to understand what it would be like living off $21.00 for a week for food. It is so important to bring this out in the open and get the public more aware of what it’s like living off the monthly welfare rates. I would… Read More

Grace Min

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I live in False Creek, Vancouver. I’m part of the marketing team at Vancity. I am taking the Challenge to raise awareness among my network about Raise the Rates. I’m worried about finding food for $21 that will last me for 7 days I’ll be sharing my experience on Twitter – @grcemin

Jeff & Elizabeth Nider plus kids

Photo of Jeff & Elizabeth Nider plus kids

My name is Elizabeth. My husband, Jeff and I, along with our 4 kids, ages 8, 5, 4 and 1 year are curiously (and slightly nervously) awaiting the start of the Raise the Rates Challenge. We would call ourselves a very “healthy” family, both in terms of diet, and it terms of our love of the outdoors, hiking, biking and walking through Pacific Spirit Park. We live in greater Vancouver and often take advantage of our proximity to nature. I am nervous about this challenge because I worry that I will not… Read More

Carol Lewis

Photo of Carol Lewis

Victoria, BC – I was born in Saskatchewan 60 years ago, and have lived some part of my life in almost every province of this great country. I have traveled as an adult, in a time when I could actually afford such a luxury, to many other countries, making me love and appreciate other cultures and to incorporate customs from them into my daily life. As a child, I was a welfare child, my mother divorced from my father when I was very young. Her inability to cope with living under the… Read More

Cherie Devisser

North Vancouver, Vancouver, BC I have been working within the financial industry for over 20 years. I am committed to doing everything I can to support positive and necessary changes needed within our communities and the people that live within in them. Though I know this challenge is only short term, I feel it will immerse me in understanding what it is really like to live with the experience of hunger and its impact on my well-being. I want to share this experience in a way that allows others to understand the… Read More

Bunny Horne

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Moved from Vancouver West End to Port Coquitlam in April 15 BIO I try to follow people that are inspirational and amazing, (Clara Hughes, Bif Naked, Dr. Jane Goodall, Christine Sinclair to name just a few). About 5 years ago I started to follow BIF NAKED on social media. She is a Canadian icon and one of the most inspirational and talented young women in our country. I followed Bif during her 2014 Welfare Food Challenge. I received a tweet that Bif Naked was once again participating in the 2015 challenge. I… Read More

Alison Andresen

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My name is Alison Andresen and I live and work in Victoria BC. I work for Vancity, a values based financial institution that takes an active role in our communities. In order to understand what these communities face, we need to see and feel what is reality for so many. We live in a world where poverty and inequality are overlooked and all too often swept under the rug. The Welfare Food Challenge shows the stark reality for people who are living live this way. $21 for week’s worth of food …… Read More

Jade O’Sullivan

Photo of Jade O'Sullivan

I am 34 years old and originally from Australia, via the UK, living in Toronto. I have been here for 3 years now and really love the city I live in and the amazing diversity I see here. But, as I live in a central area of Toronto with an amazing community centre a 100m away who do some fantastic work with homeless and underhoused people, I start to question how ‘well off’ I really am, even when I’m ‘doing it tough.’ I have actually been doing a ‘soft launch’ of this… Read More

Monika Smith

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I currently live in Artesia, NM, United States. I work for a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security at a training facility, running the post office for part of the day, and taking service calls for the rest of the day. I am taking this challenge, even though I’m not in BC, because I feel that Americans take everything for granted, it is so easy to attain things here, but I realize it is not like that everywhere. I grew up poor in a family of six and beat every obstacle… Read More