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Welfare Food Challenge Ends – Eat on the Welfare Rate for One Week – only $26 for Food in Vancouver

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Welfare Food Challenge Ends Today

Hear from some of the 100 Challenge takers about their experiences and hunger and what they have learned about a poverty hunger diet.

After a week of eating a poverty diet, only spending the $26 that a single person on welfare has for food, the people who took the Welfare Food Challenge can return to their usual life. Most feel changed and now they have a much better understanding of life in poverty and an appreciation of food and its costs. But for the 177,000 people on welfare, the 137,000 children in poverty and the over 500,000 people in poverty in BC they have a poverty diet every week.

Speakers were:

·      Bill Hopwood (Raise the Rates organizer) Chair

·      Constance Barnes (Commissioner, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation) who took the Challenge

·      Fraser Stuart (Raise the Rates activist) who is living on welfare

·      Gerry Kasten (Registered Dietitian) who took the Challenge

·      Ted Bruce (Executive Director of Population Health with Vancouver Coastal Health) who took the Challenge

·      Victoria Bull, (Parents and Grandparents in Poverty) a grandparent raising her grandchild on welfare

·      Jean Swanson (Chair of Raise the Rates)

·      Karen Barnaby (Chef) who prepared a week’s worth of food with $26

Famous chef and food columnist, Karen Barnaby, will also present her food for a week, costing $26.


·      Bill Hopwood: 604 738-1653, 778 686-5293 (cell)

·      Jean Swanson: 604 729-2380,

·      Welfare Food Challenge Website:

26 Years since Emery Barnes – Where are We Now?

Justice not Charity

Also hear also from people who live in poverty every day.

Raise the Rates: Welfare Food Challenge

Eat on the Welfare Rate for One Week – only $26 for Food

An Invitation to the People of BC

Poverty in BC

BC has the worst poverty in Canada. This has been true for nearly a decade.

The Facts:

  • ·      BC has had the worst or second worst child poverty; 137,000 children in poverty.
  • ·      BC has the worst overall rate of poverty; over 500,000 people
  • ·      BC has the biggest inequality between the richest and poorest 20% of the population

Do you think poverty in BC is a scandal?

Do you want to do something to change BC’s poverty record? The poorest people in BC are those on welfare. A single person on welfare gets only $610 a month for everything shelter, food, hygiene, clothes, etc.

If we can get welfare raised this will help people on welfare and also everyone in poverty by pushing up standards.

We Invite you to take the Welfare Food Challenge

Raise the Rates has launched the Welfare Food Challenge. The challenge is to live for a week on the food that a single, able-bodied person on welfare would have – spending only $26!

The challenge will start on October 16, World Food Day, and will finish on OctRaise the Rates has launched a new challenge, the Welfare Food Challenge. The
challenge is to live for a week on the food that a single, able-bodied person on welfare would have – spending only $26!

Of the $610 a month the BC government provides for a person on welfare, after paying for accommodation, bus tickets and cellphone (necessary to look for work), and basic
hygiene only $109 remains for food – less than $26 for a week. There is nothing for clothes, haircuts, or any social life.

Raise the Rates invites people from across BC in all walks of life to take the Welfare Food Challenge and share with friends, the media and policy makers their experiences of a week of poverty eating.

Raise the Rates recognizes that one week is not the same as what people on welfare experience, as they have to survive for months on welfare and often lack proper cooking facilities.

You can do it for one week to help make a difference!

We hope you are interested in taking the Challenge and help end poverty in BC. Find out more:

Please encourage friends and colleagues to take the Challenge too.