Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks wrote a letter to Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to address the work being done to lift those living in poverty through important systems-level change.
This includes increasing income assistance rates and disability benefits, affordable housing (specifically supportive and social housing) affordable childcare, living wages, affordable education, and reducing marginalization.
The Challenge is for one week, eating only what can be purchased with $19, the amount of money a welfare recipient receives.
Even with the $100/month raise implemented by the new BC government, this amount is not enough. A single person on welfare receives only $710/month, which provides only $19/week for food.
With the rising cost of rent, lack of rent control, exorbitant cost of living in the city, this is only $1 more per week than the Challenge in 2016. Raise the Rates is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare; and how there needs to be more action and commitment to see rates raised so people on welfare can live with dignity.
The Challenge will start on Wednesday, November 1st and run for a full 7 days. Participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $19 dollars. This calculation is based on the expectation that welfare recipients will have to pay rent and damage deposit, bus tickets and cell phone (necessary to look for work and contact the welfare office) and personal hygiene. Out of $710 there is still very little money left for food.
In case you missed it, check out the spectacular photos of the Wild Salmon Caravan parade from Saturday, October 7, 2017.
Drumming, regalia, costumes, floats, signs, banners and more all express our love for, celebration of, and deep concern to protect Wild Salmon. Led by Salish Matriarchs, the parade started at the Native Friendship Centre and walked up Commercial Drive to Trout lake where a salmon ceremony was held at the lake then followed by an amazing salmon feast, speakers, and performances.