Raise the Rates’ annual Welfare Food Challenge is starting in November 2017.
Members of Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks will be participating in the Challenge to highlight the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC.
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.
If you would like to participate, you can sign up online. For more information about the Welfare Food Challenge, please visit welfarefoodchallenge.org or contact Kell Gerlingt at raise.the.rates17[at]gmail.com or 778.871.0141.
Follow our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network participants on their blogs, linked here.