Raise the Rates: 2nd Annual Welfare Food Challenge

BCCPD has received the following notice:

September 24, 2013
Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory

Raise the Rates: 2nd Annual Welfare Food Challenge
Hungry for a Welfare Raise

Raise the Rates is inviting you to participate in the 2nd Annual Welfare Food Challenge. Starting on October 16, World Food Day, we are inviting British Columbians to eat only what they can purchase based on what welfare recipients receive for one week.

The event is to highlight the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. A single person receives only $610 a month, stuck at this rate for over 6 years. Raise the Rates, with others, is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare and how this causes ill-health, stress and emotional harm. It also costs the people of BC billions of wasted dollars every year.

Taking place from Wednesday, October 16 to Tuesday, October 22, Welfare Food Challenge participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $26 dollars. This is based on the knowledge that welfare recipients have to pay for rent, bus tickets, phone calls and some hygiene out of their $610, and there is little money left for other expenses.

Last year’s Welfare Food Challenge was a success with over 130 people taking part across the province including families, school and university students, people in work and seniors. We gained good mainstream and social media coverage.

We also hope you will document and publicize your experiences. This could include:

• Writing blog posts for our website
• Posted directly to social media
• Attending a news conference and speaking to the media about the challenge.
• Sharing your experiences with your friends, family, community members, and policy makers.

If you would like to find out more about Raise the Rates or last years Welfare Food Challenge look at www.raisetherates.org and http://welfarefoodchallenge.org/.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/635990433089949
Twitter is: https://twitter.com/RaisetheRates

The issues of poverty and low income are of great concern and are garnering huge attention in BC. We hope that by continuing to push the government and raise public awareness about the inadequacy of welfare rates and the costs of poverty we will eventually see a change.

Thank you for considering taking the Welfare Food Challenge. Please contact Bill Hopwood at bill50@vcn.bc.ca or 604 738-1653 if you have any questions or would like to participate.

Bill Hopwood
Raise the Rates, Organizer

At least 11% of the population, and over 15% of children, in BC are food insecure. (Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2011)