Archive for the ‘Poverty’ Category

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.

DTES Block Party to Block Condos on the 100 BLOCK of Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Sat. Sep 17 at around 4 pm
Music, food, and the last bit of summer sun!

Marc Williams wants to build condos at the old Pantages Site in the Downtown Eastside. Condos in the heart of the neighbourhood will cause higher property values, higher rents in single-room occupancies, displacement of current residents, increased policing, and low-income residents feeling unwelcome in their own neighbourhood.

We are getting the neighbourhood and all our allies together to protect the site for 100% social housing for low-income residents. The DTES is not for developers to make millions, it is for our vibrant and vital low-income community!

For more info:


* If you are a group, endorse the DTES Community Resolution:

* If you are an individual, sign the online petition:

* If you work in the DTES, sign the Boycott Statement:

* If you are a social housing provider, don’t collaborate with Sequel 138:

Organized by Stop Pantages Condos Coalition: Aboriginal Front Door, Carnegie Community Action Project, Citywide Housing Coalition, DTES Neighbourhood Council, DTES Power of Women Group, Gallery Gachet, Streams of Justice, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

AHA MEDIA filmed at COMMUNITY ARTS DIALOGUE: Community, Politics and Resistance in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – Part 1 on June 18, 2011

June 26, 2011 1 comment

Dr. Maggie O’Neill, researcher from Durham University, will discuss her work in participatory action research and participatory arts, specifically, “Community, Politics and Resistance in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: a participatory project”.

This project is a social research collaboration between AtiraEnterprising Women Making Art, Providing Alternatives Counseling & Education (PACE) Society, Megaphone, and United We Can and supported by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and AHA MEDIA

The project explores ways of seeing the spaces and places of community through the eyes of DTES residents.



AHA MEDIA is very proud to present “With Glowing Hearts” – a documentary on social media and W2 Community Media Arts Centre in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Animal Mother Films invites you to join us for a drink and exclusive preview from the film at the official launch party for the website for our documentary project With Glowing Hearts. We continue to capture the pressures facing Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as the city prepares to host the Winter Olympics next February, and how a remarkable group of individuals is using cutting edge social media technologies to empower their community.

WGH-is a story about a revolution, one of social change and a paradigm shift in media representation. Vancouver sets the stage, against the backdrop of the 2010 Winter Games, for our documentary about a marginalized community embracing social media tools to empower, inspire and breakdown the digital divide.

This is a project that Andrew Lavigne is directing and is being produced by Shot on various capture devices including the Red, the HVX 200, the 5D MkII and the Nokia N77 cellphone. We began shooting Feb/2009 and will continue through March/2010.

Director Andrew Lavigne and Producer Jon Ornoy are now 9 months into production, charting the inspiring story of the creation of the W2 Media Arts Center as part of the Woodward’s redevelopment and the vital steps towards breaking down the digital divide that will take place within its walls.

With the launch of, our Facebook presence and the Games only a few months away, we’re excited to throw the doors wide open and let you have a look inside.

J-Hock of AHA MEDIA talks about Bill 18 – Assistance to Shelter Act in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

J-Hock of AHA MEDIA talks about Bill 18 – Assistance to Shelter Act in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Read about Bill 18 – Assistance to Shelter Act – where the Homeless get picked up by Police to go into shelters!

According to

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Opponents of the province’s new ‘Assistance to Shelter Act’ are holding a rally today in the Downtown Eastside, intensifying the fight over what to do about Vancouver’s homeless during the Olympic Games.

Opponents call it the “Olympic Kidnapping Act’, saying the act is unconstitutional.  The province maintains it is simply trying to help people who cant, or wont, help themselves.  Some claim the homeless are being chased out of the city altogether before February 2010.  A drop-in centre in Kelowna is reporting a 20 per cent increase in traffic, with many of the new clients saying they are from Vancouver.


In this video, J-Hock of AHA MEDIA speaks on Bill 18 – Assistance to Shelter Act in Vancouver Downtown Eastside ( DTES )

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a Nokia N95 mobile cameraphone. April is passionate and skilled in making Nokia films by exploring mobile media production through the camera lens of a cellphone.For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith or