Monday, November 15, 2010

Put Food in the Budget Campaign

Let's make a quick switch from environmental to social justice today.

One of my favourite blogs, 52 Projects, recently educated me on the Put Food in the Budget provincial campaign, sponsored in part by one of my favourite local food organizations, The Stop Community Food Centre. The campaign demands that the Ontario Government immediately increase by $100 per month the social assistance received by adults in this province. Why? Because currently, the government believes $585/mth is enough. In a city like Toronto with expensive rent, I don't see how that's fair. The second campaign demand is about creating a fair and transparent way of setting social assistance rates so that people can meet their basic needs.

How can you get involved?

1. Complete the Do the Math Survey, which asks you to calculate the minimum that a single person needs to afford housing, food, and everything else.

2. Attend the Put Food in the Budget Rally tonight at Wychwood Barns.

3. Take part in a public act of solidarity with people on social assistance by accept the Do the Math Challenge, which asks you to rely on a diet that a person on social assistance might receive from a food bank from three days to a week. Elizabeth (from 52 Projects) is participating and has listed on her blog what a single person's food bank hamper typically consists of:

  • 2 boxes Kraft Dinner (or substitute extra rice if gluten-intolerant)
  • 3 juice boxes
  • 3 single-serving-size scoops dry rice
  • 2 small cans soup
  • box of dry cereal or 3 packages instant oatmeal
  • any 2 of: 175 g can of tuna, chicken, or turkey; small jar peanut butter; 3 eggs
  • 2 small cans of tinned vegetables; or 1 tin vegetables and 1 fruit
  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can plain beans or chickpeas; or 1 can pork and beans
  • 3 granola bars or 3 fruit chews
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 loaf bread (or substitute extra rice)

Would that fill you for three days? One week?

If you'd like to find out how Elizabeth is doing, check out her blog and follow Put Food in the Budget on Twitter. In fact, she just tweeted about starting off the day with instant oatmeal and instant coffee on Day 1 of the challenge.

Images from Put Food in the Budget

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