Winnipeggers try to eat on welfare budget: $4 a day

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Some Winnipeggers have volunteered to do what people on welfare have to do every day: Eat on a budget of less than $4 a day for food.

The public and the media are invited to "check out" people who have taken the World Food Day Hunger Challenge as "living books" from the Human Library, being held this Sunday, October 16th, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Carol Shields Room of the Millennium Library.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Admission is free.

Those willing to share their experience with the Hunger Challenge include:
  • Paul Hagerman, Public Policy Director, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
  • Aiden Enns, Editor, Geez Magazine;
  • Karen Schlichting, Community-based artist; and
  • Mama Cutsworth, Local DJ and food blogger.
They have been trying to eat on $3.96 a day to better understand what it is like to live on the budget provided for food by Employment and Income Assistance (welfare.)

Month after month, more than 59,000 Manitobans live on this food budget without the benefit of fully stocked pantries, accessible and affordable transportation, and without knowing, as these challengers do, that it will end after a week.

Other living books will be able to talk about local and global food issues. Some have had to feed themselves while living on social assistance for extended periods of time.

There will be opportunities to find out more about local food organizations and to find out what actual books about food you can check out at the Millennium Library.  

World Food Day in Winnipeg is sponsored by Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Oxfam Canada, Manitoba Alternative Food Research Alliance, Food Matters Manitoba, and Winnipeg Harvest.

Since 1979, World Food Day has been mandated by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The aim of the day is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

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